Opinion | Sports

April Negrette: Kicked out of a baseball game over a headdress

April Negrette and Kimball Bighorse were detained and forced to leave a San Francisco Giants game on June 24, 2014. Photo from Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry

April Negrette explains how she got kicked out of a San Francisco Giants game on Native American Night:
Upon noticing a group of seemingly white men passing around a red, white, and blue plastic headdress, another Native man whom I had just met in the next seat and I decided to go talk to them about what they were doing not being an acceptable way to celebrate "Native American Heritage Night." I've spoken to multiple people before when encountering them in plastic headdresses and have experienced mixed results. In my most successful attempt, the man actually took the headdress off -- without prompting -- and gave it to me and gave me a hug and thanked me for taking the time to explain it to him.

This particular group was not quite as open. I started crying because I didn't feel heard and the man who most recently wore the headdress became flustered and finally said, "What do you want from me?!" So I said, "Give me the headdress." Surprisingly, he did. Mission accomplished. Problem solved, kind of.

Security somehow showed up and a self-proclaimed Native friend showed up and demanded the headdress back. Without questioning what actually happened, security demanded I return the headdress. I refused. I thought to myself, no way I'm going to willingly hand this back. Crazy Horse would have rolled over in his grave. Because I wouldn't comply, we were ushered behind the bleachers, where around six members of the San Francisco Police Department were waiting and they ripped the headdress from my hands. Then a Giants security person said we were ejected from the game for "unruly behavior." We wouldn't leave because they wouldn't tell us what about our behavior was unruly, so the police decided that was cause enough for throwing us on the ground and handcuffing us. After over an hour of being manhandled, intimidated and detained, we were released without so much as a ticket.

YouTube: Native Americans Forcibly Detained After Asking MLB Fan to Remove Headdress

Get the Story:
April Negrette: Mockery and Injury: The San Francisco Giants 'Celebrate' Native American Heritage (The Huffington Post 7/1)

Also Today:
Jacqueline Keeler: Native Americans Forcibly Detained After Asking MLB Fan to Remove Headdress-Civil Rights Group Shocked (Native News Online 6/26)

Join the Conversation