Red Sox Apologize For Racist Taunts Directed At Adam Jones By Fans At Fenway Park

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox

Well, this is fucking embarrassing. Last night, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that a fan threw a bag of peanuts at Orioles outfielder Adam Jones near the dugout area, and he was also taunted with racial slurs while he was in the outfield.

Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones kept looking back behind him Monday night, glaring into the Fenway Park stands, seeing if anyone would be bold enough to utter the racial slur to his face.

“Cowards,’’ he said. “It’s pathetic.’’

Jones has played as a visiting player for 12 years at Fenway Park, spanning 77 games, and has been subjected to racial epithets in the past. Yet, this night, was like few others, calling it one of the worst experiences he’s ever endured. He listened to racial taunts in the outfield while also having a bag of peanuts thrown at him in the dugout.

“I was called the N-word a handful of times tonight,’’ Jones said disgustedly. “It was pretty awesome out there. Thanks. Pretty awesome. Just part of the job right?”

Jones has listened to vulgarities and racial taunts before in Boston, just like he has at several other ballparks in his career, but this night was more painful.

“Tonight was one of the worst,’’ Jones said, slowly exhaling, “it’s different. Very unfortunate. It is what it is, right. I just go out and play baseball. But it’s unfortunate that people need to resort to those type of epithets to degrade another human being. I’m out there trying to make a living for myself and for my family. The best thing about myself is that I know how to continue to move on, and still play the game hard. Let people be who they are. Let them show their true colors.”

I’d just like to reiterate that this is completely and utterly embarrassing, speaking as a fan of the Red Sox and someone who loves the city of Boston. I’m disappointed and discouraged that people like this still exist in the world, never mind my own city. No, a handful of fans do not represent the entire fan base, or the city for that matter, but this series of incidents on Monday night sure doesn’t help defuse the narrative that Boston is a racist city. And that is really, really aggravating.

A little over a month ago, comments made by SNL’s Michael Che made the rounds when he called Boston “the most racist city” that he’s ever visited. I’m not interested in getting into a power rankings of racist cities because, unfortunately, racism is still everywhere, but Jones has been in the league for 12 years, played in 31 different ballparks, and he described the incident on Monday night as “one of the worst” he’s ever experienced. And it’s shit like the incident last night that gives the city of Boston the reputation that Che speaks of. It’s just sad, and I feel horrible that Jones was subject to that.

Jones continued:

“What they need to do is that instead of kicking them out of the stadium,” Jones said, “they need to fine them 10 grand, 20 grand, 30 grand. Something that really hurts somebody. Make them pay in full. And if they don’t, take it out of their check. That’s how you hurt somebody. You suspend them from the stadium, what does that mean? It’s a slap on the wrist. That guy needs to be confronted, and he needs to pay for what he’s done. At the end of the day, when you throw an object onto the field of play, the player has no idea what it is. What if something hit me right in the eye, and I can’t play baseball anymore. Then what? I just wear it? No. Things like that need to be handled a little more properly, in my opinion.”

I mean, I can’t imagine that anybody would disagree with this. If you get kicked out of any ballpark, stadium or arena for any reason, what kind of punishment is just asking you to leave? Even if they ban you for life, how is that even going to be enforced? Your name is just put on a list and you can’t buy tickets through the team website with a credit card that has your name on it? They’re not going to use facial recognition at the gates to keep assholes that were banned for life from entering stadiums. There needs to be a punishment that is harsher than just simply asking these pieces of shit to go home.

The incident led to Red Sox president Sam Kennedy issuing a public apology on behalf of the team:

“The Red Sox want to publicly apologize to Adam Jones and the entire Orioles organization for what occurred at Fenway Park Monday night. No player should have an object thrown at him on the playing field, nor be subjected to any kind of racism at Fenway Park. The Red Sox have zero tolerance for such inexcusable behavior, and our entire organization and our fans are sickened by the conduct of an ignorant few. Such conduct should be reported immediately to Red Sox security, and any spectator behaving in this manner forfeits his/her right to remain in the ballpark, and may be subject to further action. Our review of last night’s events is ongoing.”

The Mayor of the city of Boston even reacted to what took place at Fenway Park on Monday night:

After the incident and Jones’ comments about wanting harsher penalties for racial taunts, the discussion began of how something like this would even be enforced because it would be a he-said, she-said situation with ballpark security. Well, not necessarily. It’s 2017. Every single one of us has a video recording device on our person at all times. If you see somebody doing shit like this, get them on video.

It might not be possible to enforce a lifetime ban at a ballpark that holds tens of thousands of people, but a video of some piece of shit behaving this way lives on the internet forever with their name attached. I’d imagine that karma would act rather quickly in a scenario where a fan making racist taunts was recorded on video before said video made the rounds on the internet. If you can’t fine them the amounts that Jones suggested, then surely you’ll cost them those amounts after they lose their job, assuming they even have one to begin with.