In the Orioles’ 5-2 victory Monday night at Fenway, Baltimore Outfielder Adam Jones told the press after the game that he was the target of both racial slurs and projectile peanut-throwing.
This, quite frankly, is not ok.
Now, this is not a blanket-condemnation of the entire greater Boston area. I don’t think less of eastern Massachusetts following Monday’s incidents.
No, I’m not writing off all my New England friends as racist bigots. Regardless of how reprehensible any words and actions of a handful of Boston fans might be, they are just that – words and actions of a select, handful of people.
What’s more concerning than Jones’ comments following Monday night’s game is CC claiming this is anything but new at Fenway. CC’s assertions that this might be a pattern suggests that the Boston Red Sox turn the other cheek when it comes to unruly fans.
And, honestly, “unruly” is putting it lightly.
“Unruly” is throwing snowballs at Santa Claus. “Unruly” is streaking across the field. “Unruly” is launching beer bottles and cans on the field after a questionable infield-fly rule call.
“Unruly” is NOT yelling the N-word at the opposing team’s outfielder and subsequently launching un-cracked peanuts at his head while he’s trying to do his job.
That crosses not only the “I’m a questionable fan at a sports game” line, but it bounds right over the “I’m a decent human being” line. Those people don’t deserve to sit in the baseball Mecca that is Fenway, nor do they deserve to take in any of what Major League Baseball has to offer.
This falls right in line with Pat Beverley’s comments last week regarding the NBA not doing enough to protect its players. If the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park staff won’t step in and impose drastic sanctions in response to hurling both racial slurs and concessions at players, then Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball must.
The idea that Fenway employees and the Red Sox organization have turned a blind-eye long enough for this to become their reputation amongst African-American ball-players is greatly concerning.
I hope Jones’ comments will spur change in how Red Sox security handle vile fans, or at the very least, urges the MLB to investigate the inner-workings of the Fenway staff.
It’s 2017 and ballplayers are still worrying about going to particular cities because they know they’ll be the target of serious racial discrimination and profiling. Yikes.