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Boston racism sparks dialogue about bigotry in MLB

Kimberly Stelly, kstelly@lmcexperience.com

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Racism is so deeply embedded in every aspect of our lives, though it’s seemingly been more subtle than overt. However, in the May 1 game against the Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones would become the next athlete to witness this overt racism, still alive and well and thriving in the sports world.

Fenway Park is a beloved treasure to the world of sports and with its sentimental value; you’d think it’d come with fond memories of overpriced snacks and exciting gameplay. But for Black baseball players, their experiences may vary.

Jones was met with an onslaught of people calling him the N-word and at one point, someone hurled a bag of peanuts at him.

The Red Sox officially released a statement apologizing for the racist hecklers and that night, 60 people were ejected from the ballpark. To top it all off, the day following the incident, Jones received a standing ovation from the crowd. So on behalf of the MLB, this situation was handled decently. Unfortunately, this doesn’t prevent future incidents like this because this is a fan-specific issue.

It’s bad enough people let their warped racial opinions spill over into conversations about other things, but sports? Aren’t sports about bonding, not hatred?

While it’s sad that something like this would happen in 2017, when considering the history of racism in relation to baseball, it’s not shocking. New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia even said, “I’ve never been called the N-word anywhere except Boston.”

When former Giants player Barry Bonds was asked if he’d finish his final season in Boston, he replied saying that Boston was “too racist” for him.

The world of sports and the concept of racism often go together more than sports fans care to admit. What does skill level, jersey number, or team name have to do with skin color anyway? Not a damn thing.

And though Boston is the hotspot for racism against black baseball players right now, this doesn’t let fans in other places off the hook though because this isn’t the only time or place Jones and other African American players have racial epithets hurled at him.

Curtis Granderson, outfielder for the Mets. This particular incident spurned conversations in which baseball players who aren’t white, have been opening up about their experiences with racism within baseball.

Though these stories of prejudice aren’t going to deter anyone from being a spectator of the sport, racism has no place in the ballpark.

But because they have been historically and concurrently intertwined, it would seem that both racism and baseball are both America’s favorite past times.

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Boston racism sparks dialogue about bigotry in MLB