Oakland A's fans smile.
Photo by Suzanna Mitchell/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Why Oakland A's Fans Are Doing a 'Reverse Boycott'

Oakland A's fans are pulling off a "reverse boycott" on Tuesday night, in a rare but powerful move to stick it to ownership.

The Oakland Athletics are 18-50 on the season and are easily one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball. As a result, fans don't always make it out to the ballpark — because who wants to see a team that only wins 26.5 percent of its games?

Still, the fan base there is passionate, but they want to support not only a winning team but also an owner who's willing to do what it takes to win — and also doesn't want the team to move to Las Vegas, as has been rumored for quite some time.

According to Spotrac, the Athletics' payroll is under $60 million, which is the lowest in the league. By comparison, the New York Mets' 2023 payroll is $344 million.

As a result, fans — including Twitter user Gabriel Hernandez (@gamer_athletics) — are hosting a "reverse boycott" tonight, June 13, to illustrate there are fans in Oakland who want to support the team but don't want to keep an owner who won't do what it takes to make the team better.

The video below illustrates the entire concept, including the following:

  • Various merchandise items
  • Parking strategies
  • Partnership with a local bar, Last Dive Bar, where fans can play cornhole — with the A's ownership's mouths as the holes
  • Chant timing, including "Sell the team! Sell the team!" and "Stay in Oakland (clap x5)."

You'll see in the video that the organizers targeted a Tuesday specifically because those are days when attendance is reported relatively low. On the season, the Athletics average just 8,555 fans per game, the lowest in home game attendance.

Why Oakland A's Fans Are Doing a Reverse Boycott

Oakland Athletics fans hold up a banner during the game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum

Photo by Suzanna Mitchell/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Some reply tweets ask why fans show up now, signaling that the potential move to Las Vegas is spurring this on. The Athletics have long been a franchise that doesn't spend the resources and often trades away top talent — including, most recently, first baseman Matt Olson, catcher Sean Murphy and third baseman Matt Chapman.

Basically, fans are upset that A's owner John Fisher is using poor attendance to justify moving the team to Las Vegas, when in reality they're not showing up because Fisher isn't committed to making the A's a winning team.

Heck, it wouldn't be that big of a surprise to see the team's 28-year-old designated hitter, Brent Rooker — who has 13 home runs — land on the trading block because he has some value. That's how things have gone the last few seasons.

Some other reply tweets from fans indicate that parking is sold out. There's no official source on this, but watching the Athletics game tonight will be interesting to see the number of fans who turn out.

The Athletics host the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night in Oakland, with the first pitch set for 9:40 p.m. ET. We can't wait to see the turnout for this game.

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