The Giants have been hosting spring training at Scottsdale Stadium since 1984. The organization has a great relationship with the city of Scottsdale, and has many staff members that work full-time from the Southwest.
But after city councilman Guy Phillips used the words "I can't breathe" during a recent anti-mask rally held at Scottsdale's City Hall, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi felt compelled to respond.
“I mean, f--k that guy,” Zaidi said Thursday during a conversation with The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly. “You can quote me on that. F--k that guy.”
Here’s video of Scottsdale City Councilman Guy Phillips shouting "I Can't Breathe" before removing his mask at today's Anti-Mask Rally in Arizona:— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) June 25, 2020
Mocking Eric Garner & George Floyd and many others in this moment is something I feel compelled to expose...pic.twitter.com/4drg23zWUD
The phrase "I can't breathe" was uttered by both Eric Garner and George Floyd in their final moments before they died while in police custody.
“I think anyone would have difficulty getting beyond the abhorrent insensitivity of his statement,” Zaidi told Baggarly. “But even if you can get beyond that — the fact that this guy is condoning behavior that put our staff and players at risk? Like, seriously. F--k that guy. I can’t believe that that guy is a public official in this country. It’s unbelievable.”
Phillips sent out an apology on Thursday, saying "It was a stupid and insensitive comment that I shouldn’t have made, and I had no intention of disrespecting anybody while making that comment.”
The Giants are working with the city on the team's new $50.6 million facility at Scottsdale Stadium, which will have a large public events space expected to be utilized for local events and conventions.
“I know we’ll have some internal conversations about that,” Zaidi said. “I don’t know how you could watch that and not be angry about it. And angry may be too simple a term. As for what recourse we have, I wouldn’t want to speak to that. But I’m f--king pissed about it. And I know I speak for a lot of people when I say that.”
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