Boston rushes to apologize after racist taunts of athlete
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[May 03, 2017]
By Scott Malone
BOSTON (Reuters) - Fans at Boston's
Fenway Park gave Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones a loud
ovation on Tuesday and the city, state and Red Sox officials
apologized to the player, the day after he said he was subjected to
racial taunting during a game there.
Civil rights advocates said the Monday night incident at Boston's
historic ballpark illustrated simmering racism that is pervasive in
a city that considers itself one of the most liberal in the United
"A disrespectful fan threw a bag of peanuts at me," Jones, a
five-time All-Star, told reporters after the game. "I got called the
N-word a handful of times tonight. Thanks. Pretty awesome."
Jones, who is African-American, said it was not the first time he
had been the target of racial insults but that the ones hurled from
the park's bleachers were the worst he had faced.
He later told reporters he hoped the fans would be barred from
attending future games at the 105-year-old park. The Red Sox said
two people were ejected.
"This is unacceptable and not who we are as a city," Boston Mayor
Marty Walsh said in a statement. "These words and actions have no
place in Fenway, Boston, or anywhere."
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker called the incident
"unacceptable & shameful" in a Twitter post, while the Red Sox
issued an apology.
"Our entire organization and our fans are sickened by the conduct of
an ignorant few," Sam Kennedy, the team's president. "Any spectator
behaving in this manner forfeits his/her right to remain in the
The incident came months after "Saturday Night Live"
star Michael Che called Boston "the most racist city I've ever been
to." He drew criticism, but Che stood by his comments, following
with a March Instagram post that read: "My grandma is racist too,
but i still love her."
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Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones (10) tips his helmet
prior to his at bat during the first inning against the Boston Red
Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Experiences like Jones' are common in Boston, said Tanisha Sullivan,
president of the Boston NAACP civil rights group.
"This incident is certainly a stain on the city of Boston," Sullivan
said in an interview. "It is certainly emblematic of what so many
people of color here in the city of Boston, black folk in the city
of Boston, experience day in and day out."
New York Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia said black Major League
players frequently encountered racist catcalls in Boston, according
to New York Newsday baseball writer Erik Boland.
"We all know. When you go to Boston, expect it," Boland quoted
Sabathia as saying in an interview.
(Additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Additional
writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Matthew Lewis
and Peter Cooney)
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