????? Boston gives Adam Jones a standing ovation a day after Jones faced racist heckling & peanuts being thrown at him pic.twitter.com/Nn676FCvXC— The Fanatics View (@thefanaticsview) May 3, 2017
The Baltimore Orioles’ Adam Jones received a standing ovation from Fenway Park fans in Boston shortly after revealing he was the target of racial abuse during Monday’s game.
The center fielder, who is African American, reportedly had peanuts thrown at him by Red Sox fans and he was called “n*****” multiple times throughout the game.
“A disrespectful fan threw a bag of peanuts at me,” Jones told USA Today, “I was called the N-word a handful of times tonight. Just part of the job, right? That’s one of the worst nights. It’s very unfortunate, to be honest with you.”
Several other black players also came forward supporting Jones’ claim and players from other teams stated they “all know” they will be subjected to racism while playing at Fenway.
CC Sabathia on racial slurs toward African American players at Fenway: "There’s 62 of us and we all know. When you go to Boston, expect it."— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) May 2, 2017
“I heard there was 59 or 60 ejections tonight in the ballpark. It's unfortunate that people need to resort to those type of epithets to degrade another human being. I'm trying to make a living for myself and for my family,” added Jones.
Red Sox President Sam Kennedy admitted that there were actually 34 fans who were ejected from the park, including 20 related to alcohol, one for throwing peanuts and one for directing abusive language at the baseball player.
However, the ejection was understandably not enough for Jones, who demanded a harsher punishment.
"That is about as pathetic as it gets," the athlete said. “It's called a coward. What they need to do is that instead of kicking them out of the stadium, they need to fine them 10 grand, 20 grand, 30 grand. Something that really hurts somebody.”
The very next day, Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts, who is also black, took to Twitter to encourage fans to give Jones a standing ovation in solidarity.
This isn’t the first time Jones has been subjected to hate for being black.
In 2013, a baseball fan threw a banana in his direction after a game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. The culprit, Alexander Poulides, later apologized stating he threw the fruit at him out of frustration not as a sign of racial discrimination.
In October, Jones and his South Korean teammate Hyun Soo Kim had beer cans and racial slurs hurled at them during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Center.
The Red Sox organization also apologized on behalf of its fans in a statement.
“No player should have an object thrown at him on the playing field, nor be subjected to any kind of racism at Fenway Park. The Red Sox have zero tolerance for such inexcusable behavior, and our entire organization and our fans are sickened by the conduct of an ignorant few,” the Red Sox said in a statement.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh also condemned the incident as “unacceptable.”
What happened last night at Fenway Park is unacceptable and not who we are as a city. (1/2)— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) May 2, 2017
These words and actions have no place in Fenway, Boston or anywhere. We are better than this. (2/2)— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) May 2, 2017
Jones called the incident “unfortunate” but said he will continue to move forward.
“The best thing about myself is that I continue to move on, and still play the game hard. Let people be who they are. Let them show their true colors,” he said.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar once said, "more whites believe in ghosts than in racism." The backlash regarding Adam Jones is proof of that.— marpessa dawn (@rebelle7fleur) May 2, 2017
Red Sox fans giving Adam Jones a standing O as he steps to the plate is the equivalent to handing him a Pepsi btw.— Richard????Johnson (@RJ_Writes) May 2, 2017
Instead of applause, why not every damn ballpark in this country treat/show Adam Jones and other black ball players w/resepct— Brandon Blake (@BrandonGBlake) May 2, 2017
People felt safe yelling the n-word at Adam Jones in public last night. That tells you everything you need to know about racism in America.— Amanda Lane (@MarinerMandy) May 2, 2017