A visual display in 2010 of disenchantment toward
Oakland A’s ownership. PHOTO/CSNBayArea
OAKLAND | An A’s fan was escorted out of the Oakland Coliseum during Monday’s night’s game for displaying a sign the team’s management may have found offensive. And it’s not the first time the team has reacted in this manner when facing some of its fans disgruntled fans.
According to several accounts on social media, A’s fan Jorge Leon was approached by police after holding a sign that read “Sell.” The sentiment is directed at A’s ownership for a variety of reasons including its perceived unwillingness to build in a new ballpark in Oakland.
A’s management says it has long maintained a policy on the size of banners often seen above the outfield walls. Signs deemed to offend someone or a group are prohibited, according to the A’s.
On Twitter, Leon said, “I’m gonna hold on comments about tonight (advice from attorneys). Just want to say I support our Oakland A’s, ball players & our fight to…Keep the A’s in Oakland!! #Sell I love my true friends!!! What a win!!!”
Leon and another fan met a similar reaction from the team and security at the Coliseum in April 2010 after he carried a sign disparaging the team’s co-owner. “Lew Wolff Hates Oakland,” read the sign, which was later taken down. Later that month, according to the East Bay Express, Leon brought another sign that said, “Wolff lied, he never tried.”
Last season, another A’s fan group said it was harassed by stadium security for displaying a sign that said, “Keep Our A’s in Oakland.”
In 2010, the issue of free of speech at the publicly-financed and operated stadium caught the attention John Russo, who was then Oakland city attorney. Russo, at the time, feared the legal morass that could arise if fans decided to sue the city for infringing on First Amendment rights.
UPDATE: The “Sell” banner was back for Tuesday night’s game.
“SELL” banner in right field bleachers @ tonight’s A’s/Anaheim game @eastbaycitizen @baseballoakland #LetsGoOakland pic.twitter.com/594DRKfvd3
— Joel Tena (@joeltena) September 2, 2015