As the time for the 2019 NBA Finals Game 6 approaches, a new search has appeared on the Oakland News Now reports: “oakland warriors parade 2019”. That means people want to know if the 2019 Warriors NBA Championship Parade will be, once again, in Oakland, and not San Francisco?
To date, this has been the drill: every year, someone in a public setting asserts that this is the year the Warriors NBA Championship Parade will be in San Francisco, and not Oakland. That kind of talk started three years ago, with some asserting that because the parade was in Oakland in 2015, it had to be in San Francisco for 2017.
Fortunately, that didn’t come to pass, and a lot of the reason for that rests on the views of the Warriors players. Indeed, the Golden State Warriors players, of all colors, but in particular, it’s black players, have been quite vocal about their love for Oakland. While this space can’t prove it, it’s fair to believe the Warriors would stage some kind of mutiny if Warriors Managing General Partner Joe Lacob elected to have the parade in San Francisco.
The San Francisco Warriors Were From A Racist Past Where Oakland Wasn’t Valued Because It Was Black
Yes, the Golden State Warriors were called “The San Francisco Warriors” and did do because it didn’t want to be associated with an Oakland image. The largely white media dances around this fact, as if 1971 was as racially harmonic as the 21st Century. It’s nice to think that the only reason the Warriors were called “Golden State” is because they played some home games in San Diego – but that stopped when they started playing exclusively in Oakland.
It was at that point in 1971, that the City of Oakland should have insisted the Warriors adopt the name “Oakland Warriors”, but the then-entirely-white Oakland City Council, holding some of the same views against what the nation thought Oakland stood for at the time, the Black Panthers, let Franklin Mieuli, a San Francisco TV producer who owned the Warriors, off the hook.
The Warriors came to Oakland, and left San Francisco, a city that never wanted them, wrote Allen Jones in New America Media:
Warriors’ history in fact starts in Philadelphia. A maverick of a man, Mieuli – a flamboyant radio and television producer known for his full beard and preference for motorcycles – got together with some investors who together bought and brought the team west to San Francisco in 1962.
Technically, the team’s home arena at the time was the “Cow Palace” in Daly City, a one-time venue for livestock expos built in 1941 just beyond the southern borders of San Francisco.
But between the years 1964 and 1966, the San Francisco Warriors played their “home games” in arenas and cities up and down the state. These included what is now San Francisco’s “Bill Graham Civic Auditorium,” as well as venues in Oakland, San Jose, Daly City and even six games in San Diego.
The city’s message to the team, which over nine years played home games in four different cities, was clear: “We don’t care about your basketball team!”
Further proof of that came in the fact that the team had the league’s worst attendance at the time, and this despite the Warriors’ reasonable success. In the 1966-67 season, the Warriors went all the way to the NBA finals, where they ironically lost to the team that replaced them in the city of Philadelphia, the 76ers. The Warriors also featured star players like Rick Barry and Nate Thurmond.
But the Warriors were also a team with an increasing number of Black athletes at a time of heightened racism in San Francisco and the rest of the country.
Many older San Franciscans, especially Black residents of the Bay View district remember the race riots of 1966 that were brought on by a white police officer shooting an unarmed Black teenager in the back. Things were so bad, in fact, that in 1964 San Francisco Mayor John Shelly formed the San Francisco Human Rights Commission to help fight discrimination against The City’s Black residents.
And so Allen Jones says of the Warriors return to San Francisco “Now, more than 40 years later and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee says he is bringing the “Warriors back home,” to a city that never wanted them in the first place…But San Francisco, “everyone’s favorite city,” is now kicking dirt in the eye of its neighbor, Oakland, by taking a team that it once rejected. A world-class city helps its neighbors, it does not help itself to its neighbor’s jewels.”
The 2019 Warriors NBA Championship Parade Must Be In Oakland
It’s for the reason of that racist history that the Golden State Warriors must hold their parade in Oakland, and not in San Francisco. Media through a older white lens can easily cover up facts about the role of racism. The sad truth of the history of the name of the Golden State Warriors is that it’s rooted in racism. But that doesn’t mean the Warriors have to hide from that truth – the organization should make every effort to clean it up.
The 2019 Warriors NBA Championship Parade must be in Oakland.
But we have to win Game 6 and Game 7, first.