Baseball season is over, and the San Francisco Giants have won their third World Series in five years, continuing their trend of winning every even-numbered year. The Kansas City Royals had the inspiring story of breaking an almost three-decade long drought and sweeping the previous two series to make it to the final round, but if you’re a sad — and progressive — Royals fan, you can find a silver lining.
Yes, the Giants’ principal owner, Charles B. Johnson is known for his support of the conservative PAC American Crossroads and the team has had issues with racist fans in the past, but overall the team and its fans have been leaders in progressive causes.
1. They spoke up on Ferguson As they battled the St. Louis Cardinals to win the National League Championship Series, fans were rallying against police brutality and the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis. A group of organizers stood in front of the park’s main entrance, holding signs that included slogans like “No Justice No Baseball” and “From Ferguson to the Bay.” The protest came only days after St. Louis Cardinals fans made shirts supporting Darren Wilson, the officer that killed Brown and clashed with protestors.
2. The team supports immigration reform Immigration reform may be what the Giants are most known for, thanks to reliever Sergio Romo who sealed their 2012 World Series victory. During the 2012 victory parade, Romo, who was born in California, gained attention for wearing a shirt that said “I just look illegal” which earned him praise from activist Jose Antonio Vargas. In 2013, Romo filmed a video stating his support for the DREAM Act. He also created an ice cream flavor, Sergio Romo’s Mexican Chocolate, to raise money for immigration reform. In 2011, manager Bruce Bochy called out Fox News radio host Tony Bruce when he called pitcher Ramon Ramirez an “illegal alien pitcher”. Ramirez was in the country legally. Former manager Felipe Alou faced a racist rant from a local talk show host, accusing him of using “brain-dead Caribbean hitters”; Alou was the first Domenican player to play in the Major Leagues during his time as a player for the Giant and was not allowed to stay in the same hotels as the rest of the team during his time in the minors.
3. Their stadium is an environmentalist’s dream The Giants stadium, AT&T; Park is known for its location on the San Francisco Bay and quirky features, but it is also a leader in environmental friendliness. In 2007, it was the first baseball stadium to install solar panels. In 2010, AT&T; Park became the first park to be recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council for its sustainability efforts, which include diverting 75 percent of its waste away from landfills and to recycling plants, using environmentally friendly concession stands and an emphasis on sustainable transportation, through charging stations for electric cars and free bike parking.
4. They’re LGBT rights activists In 1994, the Giants became the first Major League Baseball team to hold an event to raise awareness for HIV. In 2002, they began their annual “LGBT Night Out” and are one of the few teams that does not have an external group organize the event. In 2011, they became the first professional sports team to create an “It Gets Better Video.” Pitcher Matt Cain, who starred in the video, also participated in the NoH8 campaign in 2012. In 2013, the GLAAD awarded them the Corporate Leader Award for their activism, and President Obama recognized their support for the LGBT community.