Racism has absolutely no place in society or in sports. Unfortunately, some Boston Red Soxs fans didn’t get the memo. Orioles outfielder Adam Jones was serenaded and targeted with racial slurs by Boston fans. He was called the N-word on several occasions during the game, and had peanuts thrown at him by a fan.
Jones said “it’s unfortunate that people need to resort to those type of epithets to degraded another human being.”
Jackie Robinson broke baseball color barrier in 1947 and 70 years later where still dealing with some of the same issues he faced. For a sport that prides itself on diversity, it’s time to address the elephant in the room, about African American players and their place in baseball.
As an African American, fan of MLB, and a fan of all Boston teams, I am completely disgusted and outraged about what transpired at Fenway Park. It’s unacceptable on all levels and should be met with the proper consequences. Jones is one of 62 African Americans players on an MLB roster, and one of the most popular faces in MLB. He was also the starting centerfielder for team USA in the World Baseball Classic this past fall.
Jones is a five time all-star, four time golden glove winner, and a three time winner of the Roberto Celemente Award, which recognizes players who represent the game through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy, and positive contributions both on and off the field. If a player of Jones caliber, pedigree and stature is the target of racial slurs then no one is safe.
Jones recently spoke Colin Kaepernick’s protest and why baseball players haven’t spoken up about the racial issues affecting our country like other athletes in other leagues.
“Baseball is a white man’s sports,” Jones said. “We already have two strikes against us already. So you might as well not kick yourself out of the game. In football you can’t kick them out. You need those players. In baseball, they don’t need us.” http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/17533600/adam-jones-baltimore-orioles-says-lack-african-americans-why-mlb-seen-no-protests
MLB has struggled for years to attract African American players, executives and viewers. Part of that has to do with the culture in MLB, where African Americans players feel like they don’t have a voice or they don’t matter. This unhealthy environment has trickled down to fans who now think they have a right to disrespect African American players.
This battle is not Adam Jones battle to face alone. More ongoing dialogue needs to happen in order to bring about change.
Baseball is recognized as America’s past time, but it’s time to stop living in the past. It’s time to change the culture in baseball and end this racist cycle.