“Sell The Team” – Oakland A’s Fans Pulled Off “Reverse Boycott” & Pack Stadium

Oakland A's

Oakland Athletics fans officially talked the talk and walked the walk last night.

Walking in baseball is usually bad, but in this context, it’s a positive thing.

An idea that started out with one single tweet finally came to fruition last night when the Oakland A’s took on the Tampa Bay Rays.

The MLB team in Oakland has been through a lot this year, holding the worst record in baseball for most of the season, hearing rumors and then confirmations of their team moving to Las Vegas, and worst of all, a possum terrorizing the visiting team’s broadcast booth.

With all of that negative energy surrounding the historic baseball team, those in Oakland stopped attending games in protest of the team’s ill-fated moves, guided by despised owner John Fisher.

And with many throughout the MLB thinking that the lack of fan support is the reason why the A’s would be moving away from Oakland, an idea from one fan showed that mindset is simply not true.

Fans have always been there in Oakland, but they’ve just chose not to support a team who’s front office they feel is not giving it their very best.

So, to show the front office and the world that Oakland truly cares and what could be if the A’s were managed properly, fans of the baseball team packed the stadium in a “reverse boycott,” and the results were incredible:

A season high 27,759 fans packed RingCentral Coliseum, besting the opening day attendance by almost 1,000. Throughout the year, the A’s had been averaging an MLB worst 8,500 fans per game this season (and based on some videos and pictures I’ve seen of empty stands, that number is generous).

Fans also organized a t-shirt giveaway for the reverse boycott, painting the stadium with green shirts and the word “SELL” in yellow across the chest. Anywhere and everywhere you looked in the stands, the “SELL” shirts were visible.

It was a true playoff atmosphere for the game, with “sell the team” chants raining down on the field before the first pitch. Listen to how loud the fans get as the game begins:

And along with that coordinated effort of matching “SELL” t-shirts (thanks to $27,000 in fan donations), the Oakland faithful also planned to stand at a certain point of game in silence to protest in unity.

They decided to stand quietly for the first batter of the fifth inning, then after the Tampa Bay batter hit the ball into play, the coliseum erupted into a choreographed “sell the team” chant, which was undoubtedly the loudest the stadium got all night.

This clip below shows the goosebump-inducing scene, captioned with:

“As planned A’s fans were standing and silent during the first batter of the fifth inning.

They then broke into “sell the team” chants so loud that the pitcher thought his earpiece was broken.”

Look at all of those “sell” posters too…

And amongst all the drama of the reverse boycott game, the Oakland Athletics were able to hold on for the win 2 to 1 over Tampa Bay, tacking on their seventh straight win (which have all come against teams with records above .500), which is the longest active winning streak in the MLB.

Will the fan-led movement change anything in regards to the move of the team from Oakland to Las Vegas? No, it unfortunately will not.

But does the reverse boycott allow A’s fans to be heard and effectively deliver the message to the Oakland owner and the rest of the world that the move is bad for baseball? Yes, it certainly does.

The event that took place last night shows the true power of sports, and how unifying being a part of something bigger than yourself can be.

It’s a shame that the loyal fans in Oakland will lose their team, especially seeing the passionate fanbase 100% behind their guys in green and gold during the game’s emphatic final out:

Sell the team.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock