Boston is Asking, in the Politest, Most Non-Racist Way Possible, If Perhaps Boston Wasn't Racist Toward Adam Jones

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox

Like everyone else in Boston, I was enraged this morning by the reports that Adam Jones had the N-bomb tossed at him at Fenway last night. I agree with every word Feitelberg and Carrabis wrote about it. Not only for the obvious reason that Adam Jones ought to be able to play circles around the Red Sox without having to deal with racist bullshit, but also because of what it does to the place I’ve lived my entire life. As it is, we have to burn way too many calories defending ourselves against lazy, unproven and unquantifiable charges we’re a racist town. And something like this would set the cause back decades.

As a matter of fact, it already has. ESPN is basically spending the day talking about Boston like it’s one giant Klan rally. And if I had a milliliter of common sense I’d just join in on the panderfest, question nothing, and generally avoid this whole subject like it was an unexploded IED. But I never said I was smart.

It’s as simple as this: I just need some proof. Some kind of confirmation that what Jones says he heard is what he heard. I’m not claiming that he’s lying; that’s a big statement and I’d never make it without being able to back it up. I just need someone to back up what he’s saying. In a crowd of what was probably 20,000 at the time, I don’t think that’s a big ask.

It’s 2017. Every moment of everyone’s life is caught on someone’s phone. And we’re a people that are intolerant of intolerance. I have a hard time believing that if some asshole was screaming N-words at the top of his lungs enough to be heard by outfielders, than not one person would record it. Or report it to security. Ask yourself how long you’d sit there and listen to the guy behind you pulling that shit without telling him to knock it the fuck off or get him booted before he does permanent damage to your city.

I’ve been listening to WEEI most of the day and so far I haven’t heard one caller confirm he/she heard racial insults being hurled. We do have eyewitnesses that a guy threw a bag of peanuts from Lower Box 69. Though the accounts are that the guy soft-tossed them to Jones hit him in the chest and the section razzed him for not catching the bag. Whatever. Anyone stupid enough to throw anything at a player was begging to get thrown out and got it. WEEI talked to Sox VP Sam Kennedy and he admitted that 34 people were tossed from the park, including the peanut tosser. But he stopped short of saying they were told by anyone other than Jones they heard racist taunts.

Again, I’m not accusing Jones of anything. I just want to know for sure this happened. If I get it – a video, a corroborating witness, the name of the guilty party, anything – no one will be more pissed about than I am. I take a back seat to no man when it comes to Boston’s reputation. But it’s like Carl Sagan used to say: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. If someone can show me that in 2017 a guy can yell N-bombs in front of thousands of people and get away with it, I’ll admit that the haters are right and Bostonians are way worse than I’ve let myself believe. I’m just waiting for that evidence is all.

Not that it will matter. We’ve already been convicted in the court of public opinion. The Confirmation Bias on this one is off the charts and nothing is going to unring this bell. This one is going on our permanent record.