Here’s a bit of uni news that got lost in the holiday shuffle. Remember how the San Francisco Giants added a particularly obnoxious-looking sleeve advertisement back in August and then ended up with egg on their face two months later when the advertiser’s license to do business in California was suspended after the state determined that the advertiser — a purveyor of self-driving cars — was a public safety menace and had misrepresented safety data?
At the time, it seemed likely that the Giants would not be wearing the sleeve ad again next season. After all, why would you wear an advertisement for a company that’s not even licensed to operate in your state? Moreover, why would you want to be associated with a company that’s been deemed to be a public safety menace? On top of all that, the company has been embroiled in turmoil over the past month or so: Its founder and CEO has resigned, its funding has been cut by “hundreds of millions of dollars,” and it just laid off nearly a quarter of its workforce, all of which would seem to mitigate against a continued presence on the Giants’ uniforms.
And yet. According to a report last week in The San Francisco Examiner, the Giants say their relationship with the sleeve advertiser “has not changed.” This apparently means that the obnoxious sleeve ad — the one paid for by a company that’s been determined to be hazardous to the public and isn’t even licensed to operate in the state of California — will still be there.
I get that we’re currently living in an unusually shameless era, and I also get that the wheels of capitalism tend to keep on turning (sort of like the wheels of a self-driving car), even when that flies in the face of common sense. But still, this seems really absurd.