Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said his remarks about the attendance of a reverse boycott by Oakland Athletics fans were taken out of context.

“My comments about Oakland was that I feel sorry for the fans, that it was my initial preference that we find a solution in Oakland,” Manfred said, according to Meghan Montemurro of the Chicago Tribune. “The comment that I made about the fans on a particular night was taken out of context of those two larger remarks.

“I feel sorry for the fans. We hate to move. We did everything we could possibly do to keep the club in Oakland. And, unfortunately, one night doesn’t change a decade worth of inaction.”

Athletics fans protested the franchise’s relocation June 15 with a reverse boycott at Oakland Coliseum, urging owner John Fisher to sell the team. The announced attendance for the game was 27,759 – a significant bump from a major-league worst average of 9,688 for the club’s home contests this season.

“I mean, it was great. It is great to see what is this year almost an average Major League Baseball crowd in the facility for one night. That’s a great thing,” Manfred said last week when asked about the protest, according to Joon Lee of ESPN.

The Athletics are on the verge of getting approval to relocate to Las Vegas to play in a proposed $1.5-billion ballpark on the Strip. The last step hinges on MLB signing off on the move.

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