The San Francisco Giants are considering a new dress code for fans, which may include a ban on fake Native American headdresses and other “culturally insensitive” clothing. Mark Matthews reports.
The San Francisco Giants are considering a new dress code for fans, which may include a ban on fake Native American headdresses and other “culturally insensitive” clothing.
The proposal for a new dress code comes after two Native Americans were detained during a Giants game last month after asking a fan to remove a headdress they found disrespectful.
If approved, the new policy could be a first for a major-league sports franchise, American Indian activist Suzan Shown Harjo told USA Today.
The headdress incident happened during Native American Heritage night on June 23 at AT&T Park when the Giants were hosting the San Diego Padres.
Video footage posted on YouTube by Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry shows the two being forcibly removed from the stadium by police officers.
“Upon noticing a group of seemingly white men passing around a red, white, and blue plastic headdress, another Native man whom I had just met in the next seat and I decided to go talk to them about what they were doing not being an acceptable way to celebrate ‘Native American Heritage Night,’” April Negrette, the woman caught in the middle of the controversy, wrote in the Huffington Post.
Negrette, a junior researcher at UC Davis, wrote that the group didn’t seem very forthcoming, making her cry.
“’The man who most recently wore the headdress became flustered and finally said, ‘What do you want from me?!’ So I said, "Give me the headdress,” Negrette said.
To her surprise, he did.
What happened next was even more surprising.
Security showed up and demanded she return the headdress, Nanette wrote.
“I refused. I thought to myself, no way I'm going to willingly hand this back. Crazy Horse would have rolled over in his grave,” she wrote.
The headdress was eventually “ripped” from her hands, eventually resulting in the scuffle caught on camera.
EONM released a statement after the incident, which said in part:
“It is our feeling that Native Americans should be able to not only attend sporting events free of harmful cultural misappropriation, but also be able to speak out about the desecration of Native cultures, people, and items. … Ignoring Native peoples’ concerns is indicative of the fact that Native people are treated as relics of the past, non-existent, and we hope (the Giants and police) will treat cultural misappropriation as hate speech, as that is the way it feels to have sacred items mocked.”
Giants senior vice president Staci Slaughter told NBC Bay Area that the organization is currently in the process of revising their code of conduct to explicitly include information on culturally insensitive attire and behavior.
The Giants released a statement last week, asking fans to be "mindful and respectful of each other."
"Any fan wearing culturally insensitive attire, using obscene or abusive language, engaging in antisocial conduct offensive to those around them or displaying any other offensive behavior is subject to removal from the ballpark,” the statement said.
According to the statement, if someone sees fans misbehaving, they should contact Giants security by texting “FOUL” to 69050.
The bottomline: “Please do not take the matter into your own hands,” the statement urged.
Some Giants fans have mixed feelings about the policy.
"The world is becoming politically either incorrect or correct - I don't know," said Shawn Dungan of Redwood City. "It's an interesting balance.
Others said that all the rules and regulations were taking the fun out of sports.
"It's getting ridiculous, to where certain few people ruin it for everybody," said Tim Bambino, who is visiting from Scottsdale, Arizona.
NBC Bay Area's Stephanie Cheung and Bob Redell contributed to this report.