Giants may ban 'culturally inappropriate' attire at AT&T Park after headdress dispute 

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  • Mike Koozmin/The S.F. Examiner file photo
  • San Francisco Giants fans may soon have to adhere to new rules about appropriate attire.

The wrong headdress or hat could now mean the end of your day at AT&T Park.

The San Francisco Giants could be the first Major League Baseball franchise to bar its fans from wearing "culturally-inappropriate" attire to the ballgame, according to reports.

USA Today reports that the Giants' new stance on cultural competency is in response to a fracas at "Native American Heritage Night" in June.

It all began when a pair of fans asked a third fan to remove a headdress he was wearing.

The two fans, April Negrette and Kimball Bighorse, are Native American; the third fan appeared to be Caucasian, though later claimed Choctaw heritage, Negrette told The S.F. Examiner.

San Francisco police were called to the bleachers where the parties were arguing over the headdress, and Bighorse and Negrette were escorted out of the ballpark.

In a follow-up email, Giants officials apologized to the pair and took responsibility for the incident -- and promised it would not happen again.

"Regarding prohibiting headdresses, our efforts in communicating to our fans moving forward that culturally insensitive apparel will not be tolerated and if found offensive, will be asked to be removed, is the direction that we want to take things in," wrote Faham Zakariaei, the Giants' director of special events, in a July 1 email.

While pleased that the franchise responded, Negrette still isn’t entirely satisfied.

“A lot of fluff in my opinion, until I see an action,” she told The S.F. Examiner last week.

Racism and cultural sensitivity are hot topics in sports lately.

The Washington Redskins have been under pressure from Native American activists and others to change its mascot, long-deemed offensive.

Other teams in Major League Baseball, like the Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves -– whose “Tomahawk chop” has been adopted by Oakland Athletics fans, along with a rhythmic drumbeat from the bleachers, when an A’s player is about to draw a walk –- have also drawn criticism.

About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has worked as a reporter in San Francisco since 2008, with an emphasis on city governance and politics, The City’s neighborhoods, race, poverty and the drug war.
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