Giants boycott ends after owner asks for return of campaign contributions

A boycott of the San Francisco Giants by prominent members of the African American community over a team owner’s political contributions has ended two days after it started, following an announcement that the owner requested his contributions to be returned.

Public records show Charles Johnson gave money to Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith’s controversial U.S. Senate campaign in Mississippi just days after video emerged of her telling a supporter “if he invited me to a public hanging I’d be on the front row,” invoking memories of Mississippi’s dark history of lynchings.

Johnson also gave money to a political action committee which produced a racist ad in Arkansas.

Johnson wrote in his statement Tuesday that he wasn’t aware of the racial controversy surrounding Hyde-Smith when he contributed to her campaign, and that his personal contributions aren’t affiliated with the Giants.

“I strongly condemn any form of racism and have asked for my contribution to be returned,” Johnson said.

SEE RELATED: Call for boycott of San Francisco Giants builds

Civil rights attorney John Burris and Rev. Amos Brown, president of the San Francisco NAACP, called for the boycott on Monday, but ended it in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

“After consultation with Dr. Harry Edwards and Rev. Amos Brown, I have decided that Mr. Johnson’s statements condemning racism and requesting the return of his contribution to Senator-elect Cindy Hyde-Smith are sufficient positive steps and that the Boycott is not further warranted at this time,” Burris wrote.

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