Recently, the billionaire owner of the Oakland A’s baseball team has made headlines after signing a deal to abandon Oakland for Las Vegas. The Oakland A’s have been in the city since 1968, in their current stadium at the Oakland Coliseum. Working class families have been connected to this team for multiple generations. And this fanbase has stuck with the team for years of ups and downs. It is a total gut punch for Oakland fans to lose this team after so long. And for what? The rich billionaire owner, John J. Fisher, son of the founder of Gap Clothing, wants to abandon Oakland, and settle for the rich playground of Las Vegas, where he can cater to a higher-income fanbase and receive taxpayer money to subsidize construction of a fancy new stadium. He has no concern for the city of Oakland and the fans, who’ve been around much longer than he has.
In response, some fans have begun to organize themselves. On Tuesday, June 13th, tens of thousands of fans organized a “reverse boycott,” packing the stadium with the largest home crowd of the season, chanting “sell the team!” After catching wind of the protest being organized, the A’s ownership attempted to save face by announcing that all ticket revenue from that game would be donated to the Alameda County Food Bank and the Oakland Public Education Fund.
While agreements have been signed and plans are in place for the A’s to eventually move to Las Vegas, this story is not over and there will be opportunities for further resistance to the A’s relocation.
Whatever happens, passionate fans like the ones that organized and participated in the “reverse boycott” should have a say on what happens to our teams, not the billionaire owners, who treat our teams like their little toys!