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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Giants Considering Ban on Fake Headdresses

Posted By on Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge Giants fans sport fake headdresses on Native American Heritage Night. - APRIL NEGRETTE
  • April Negrette
  • Giants fans sport fake headdresses on Native American Heritage Night.

The flap over Native American Heritage Night -- in which two Giants fans were ejected from AT&T Park for protesting a fake headdress -- might not be in vain.

Now, the Giants are considering a policy that would ban such offensive garments, on the grounds that they are "culturally insensitive."

That would be a great leap for major league baseball, which has a somewhat scatter-shot record of sensitivity. But it could wreak havoc on a team tradition.

The Giants hold promotional Heritage Nights throughout their season in the hope of attracting diverse crowds. From a marketing standpoint, the point of these events isn't clear, as they seem to be more of a frill than an outreach tool. But fans have come to expect them.

The list of cultures celebrated includes everyone from Filipinos (Aug. 16) to Jewish people (July 28), to folks bound together by peanut allergies (July 30), and many of them get regaled with potentially insensitive schwag.

Giants have passed out yarmulkes to Jewish fans and Shamrock caps to the Irish; the peanut-intolerant are granted a special nut-free zone.

Nobody ever questioned such customs in the past, but if a new rule is enacted, they may have to be jettisoned.

Giants spokeswoman Staci Slaughter says the team is still mulling over the language of its proposed dress code. The team already has prohibitions against ethnic or racial slurs and other offensive behavior -- such as the now-famous banana-tossing incident during a Giants-Orioles game last year.

"Part of the reason we do Heritage Nights is to educate the community about the amazing diversity we have around here," Slaughter says, indicating that the team may now be burdened with educating its community on proper comportment.

Either way, the nut-free zone still stands.

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About The Author

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan has been a staff writer at SF Weekly since 2013. In previous lives she was a music editor, IP hack, and tutor of Cal athletes.

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