Two statements were not enough, as fans and even some adjacent to the organization called for action.
Charles Johnson is taking action — or at least asking for it.
The principal owner of the Giants has requested Representative Lauren Boebert refund the donations he and his wife, Ann, made to her campaign in September 2020. The two had contributed the maximum amount — $2,800 each — to a candidate linked with QAnon, according to FEC filings.
The Giants had released a statement that strongly condemned the Washington insurrection that Boebert cheered on but suggested there was little they could do about his donations. Johnson released a first statement that stated he “never would have imagined” any candidate he supported would fight against democracy. Neither was enough as frustration built around the organization and its fanbase.
“As I stated last week, I am appalled by the violence that erupted at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 and the destructive efforts to interrupt the certification of the 2020 Presidential Election,” the rarely heard-from billionaire said Monday night in a second statement in four days. “My wife Ann and I reject and denounce any individuals, candidates or elected officials who do not honor our constitution or who espouse or assist in violence of any kind. I have contacted the office of Representative Lauren Boebert to request a full refund of our contribution. I will continue to follow the ongoing investigation closely and will request refunds from any other individuals who are found to have engaged in similar behavior. And I pledge to do my part in helping to heal our nation and restore peace and respect in our democratic system.”
Johnson asked for and got a refund in 2018 from Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Mississippi politician who joked about attending public hangings. Johnson’s generosity toward the Republican senator, who was widely criticized for the racial remark, warranted statements, too, the Giants facing threats of boycott at the time. A few years later, it all felt familiar.
The largest shareholder of a team based in left-leaning San Francisco faced a backlash coming from inside his own organization, as well. Beloved public-address announcer Renel Brooks-Moon repeatedly has spoken out against both his actions and the Giants not denouncing them quicker. Part of Brooks-Moon’s fury stemmed from Boebert potentially endangering the life of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
During the insurrection, politicians being hidden for their safety were told not to divulge their whereabouts. As Pelosi was ushered out of the House, Boebert, who has gone on record as being a sympathizer of the QAnon delusion, tweeted that Pelosi “has been removed from the chambers.”
Christine Pelosi, Brooks-Moon’s good friend and Nancy’s daughter, had threatened to quit her role on the team’s Community Fund board of directors.
Reached earlier Monday, Christine Pelosi gave the organization a one-day ultimatum to make things right.
“They got a refund 2 years ago,” she wrote in a text. “… And promised to put money into justice programs; they should do the same now.”
She had said she “obviously cannot work for an entity that cannot condemn sedition.” Pelosi saw the original statement from the team and interpreted as “that this is not them. Except it is.”
Shortly after the latest statement from Johnson, Pelosi sat in a meeting with the club and felt pacified.
When reached, she pointed toward a statement she issued to the Sacramento Bee: “We should all agree that violence has no place in public life. I appreciate the public pressure & concern that led to this. Thank you to Mr Johnson & the Giants for their commitment to justice & healing.”
Facing widespread anger from those around the Giants and fans, Johnson has tried to right a wrong. He is now plenty experienced at both making that wrong and the cleanup process.