Red Sox Officials Apologize To Adam Jones For Fans’ Racial Taunts


Red Sox Officials Apologize To Adam Jones For Fans’ Racial Taunts

Blue Jays at Orioles September 1,  2011

Officials from Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Boston Red Sox were forced to make a public apology after fans hurled racial slurs at Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones. Following Boston’s 5-2 loss to Baltimore on May 1, Jones was “called the N-word a handful of times” and had a bag of peanuts thrown at him by an angry bystander.

Boston’s management were incredibly apologetic and Red Sox president Sam Kennedy made his opinions known during an interview on WEEI,  [via ESPN]:

“We issued an apology to Adam Jones, the entire Baltimore Orioles organization. It is incumbent upon the Red Sox to take our responsibilities seriously about making sure all of our fans and players feel safe and in an environment that is respectful and welcoming… Racism, unfortunately, can be in the DNA of our culture. We have to consistently work to eradicate it.

Look, the Boston Red Sox are held to one of the highest standards in this market. We need to make sure we are doing everything we can to be supportive of our fans and our players. This goes well above wins and losses and baseball. We take it very seriously.

This is representative of a very, very small group of ignorant and disrespectful people. Anyone who does this is not welcome at Fenway Park.”

The fan who threw the peanuts at Jones was caught and ejected from the stadium, but the incident underscores the MLB’s larger race issue. We’ve written about this a few times over the past couple years in pieces like:
Jones is one of only 62 black players in the entire league, and the total percentage of black players has dropped steadily over the past few decades. In recent years, only approximately 9% of the MLB’s players and viewing audience are African-American, and incidents like this will most likely not help to increase its popularity in the black community.
This is, unfortunately, not the first time this has happened in recent Boston sports history. In 2014, Bruins fans made the news after a few of their fans sent out racist tweets about hockey-player PK Subban. Of course, these are isolated incidents, but they’re sad indicators as to the state of race relations in America.