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Red Sox Apologize To Orioles Player For Fans' Racist Taunts


The Boston Red Sox issued an apology this morning after reports of racial taunting at their game last night. Adam Jones, an outfielder with the visiting Baltimore Orioles, said he was subjected to racial epithets and that at least one fan threw a bag of peanuts at him. Shira Springer of member station WBUR reports that the fallout isn't over.

SHIRA SPRINGER, BYLINE: It was an unusually raucous night at Fenway Park. After the game, Jones called the heckling one of the worst experiences of his 12-year major league career.


ADAM JONES: It just shows that people still live in their own world. They still have their own views, obviously. And some people like to express hatred towards another person.

SPRINGER: The fan who threw a bag of peanuts at Jones was identified and escorted out of the ballpark. That fan was 1 of 34 people ejected last night, some for alcohol-related incidents, some for fighting and one for using profane language directed at a player, presumably Jones. Red Sox Team President Sam Kennedy says reports on last night's ejections didn't specifically reference racial taunting. But, he says, that is not the point.


SAM KENNEDY: We take Adam Jones at his word. And that is unacceptable for what happened. And we're going to take steps to address it.

SPRINGER: But those steps remain uncertain. Jones is not the first black professional athlete to experience racism in Boston. Even professional athletes who have called Boston home have dealt with racism during their careers. And despite efforts to change that reputation, it persists. Here's Governor Charlie Baker.


CHARLIE BAKER: Oh, I don't think it reflects Massachusetts. I mean I've lived here my whole life, and I take tremendous pride in the fact that Massachusetts is a state that - and a community that welcomes diversity.

SPRINGER: But Boston NAACP President Tanisha Sullivan says what Jones experienced was a reflection of the worst of the city of Boston.


TANISHA SULLIVAN: It illuminates the subculture that exists here in and around the city of Boston where someone would believe that they could go to Fenway Park in a crowded stadium and use this racially charged language and not be held accountable.

SPRINGER: Adam Jones and the Orioles will be back playing the Red Sox at Fenway Park tonight. For NPR, I'm Shira Springer in Boston. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Shira Springer