Charles B. Johnson, the largest shareholder in the San Francisco Giants baseball team, wrote a letter to Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s (R-MS) campaign on Tuesday requesting a refund for a $5,400 donation he and his wife made to her campaign, SFGate reports. In a statement responding to backlash over the donation, Johnson wrote, “I would like to provide important context related to my political donation to Cindy Hyde-Smith. I was not aware of the controversy surrounding Hyde-Smith when I made the donation.” “I strongly condemn any form of racism and I have asked for my contribution to be returned,” he said. He also said that the donation had “no affiliation with the Giants or any other company.” Johnson and his wife each reportedly made a $2,700 donation to Hyde-Smith’s campaign on Nov. 20, and Johnson’s statement referred to both contributions. His request for his money back comes after local civil rights advocates pushed for a boycott against the Giants in response to the donation. Hyde-Smith is running against Democrat Mike Espy in a Tuesday runoff election for the Senate seat. Nearly a dozen companies, including Major League Baseball, have asked for donation returns after Hyde-Smith’s remarks about a “public hanging” sparked outrage.
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