Sickening behavior in Boston

Published 5:28 pm Tuesday, May 2, 2017

When you have the president of the Boston Red Sox publicly commenting on the team’s fan base using racial epithets, you know it’s a sensitive issue.

You know the problem will (hopefully) get squashed ASAP.

Adam Jones, the centerfielder for the Baltimore Orioles, told reporters that racial epithets were shouted at him multiple times from the stands. He also said a bag of peanuts was thrown at him near the third-base dugout (which ended up missing Jones and nailing a police officer, according to the Boston Herald).

Red Sox president Sam Kennedy apologized to Jones and called the racial taunts “inexcusable.” He said the entire organization and fans were “sickened” by the ignorance of a select few in the stands.

I don’t hear stories that often of minority players getting racially taunted. Maybe most of these players have learned to shrug it off. Maybe they feel like talking about it to reporters after a game like Jones did wouldn’t do any good.

It makes me wonder how often it happens at professional sporting events. Probably more than many of us would care to know. Blatant racism, in all of its forms, is a problem. Until we can remove that ignorance through the next few generations, finding ways to handle, minimize and relinquish it will continue to be a problem.

Nobody is sure who the fans are that shouted the racial slurs at Jones. I’m led to wonder whether anybody around them said anything. Hearing the guy or gal next to me shout racist epithets at a player on the field, in a major public location, would make me downright uncomfortable. I pray somebody condemned the ones shouting at Jones, or at least told them to hush and enjoy the ball game.

From my research, Boston has a history with racism at Fenway Park. It was the last park to integrate, 12 years after Jackie Robinson debuted.

Boston is a great city, brimming with rich American history and awesome entertainment.

I’ve had some fun visits to Bean Town. But hearing this story upset me.

Boston fans are finicky about their sports. They carry around massive amounts of pride for the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins. So much so that fans from other cities tend to roll their eyes. But this kind of behavior doesn’t make you a better fan. It only makes the entire fan base look worse.

That might be the last thing Boston needs right now.