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Controversy at Fenway Park

Bernard Gagnon

Bernard Gagnon

Fanny Zhang, Staff Writer

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Baseball has always been one of the most popular sports in America. Thousands of schools and programs all throughout America, provides baseball teams and training for kids and even adults. With thirty teams and three divisions in the Major League Baseball, in 2016, this organization has reached an incredible amount of ten billion dollars in revenues. This sport has been around since the 18th century and has been enjoyed by millions of people all across the world. In America, it has been reported that half of the population, are actually baseball fans.

Recently, controversy between the fans and the players have emerged. On Monday May 1st, the Boston Red Soxs and Baltimore Orioles started off the series at Fenway Park. This game quickly became an issue for the players on the opposite team (Baltimore Orioles), due to the harassments by certain Red Sox fans. These harassments were aimed towards an African American player of the Baltimore Orioles.The fan was permanently removed from Fenway Park for life for inappropriate behavior. Outfielder Adam Jones has claimed that not only where there racial slurs but peanut bags were thrown at his direction, hitting a police officer instead. This wasn’t the first time, he has encountered this situation at Fenway Park. However, he has decided to speak out this particular time about the incident on Monday.

When Jones was asked why he was “compelled to speak out”, he said

It was something that was on my mind. It was frustrating for me. I’m a grown man with a family to raise, so I’m not just going to let nobody just sit there and berate me. I’m a grown man. Where I come from, you say things like that, you put the gloves on and you go after it. Obviously in the real world, you can’t do that, especially in my field; so just hopefully, the awareness comes, the people around in the stands will hold other fans accountable.”

Racism is not a new concept in baseball, however there has been many reports of racist slurs that surrounds Fenway Park. The New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia has also been asked about these allegations. He says that Boston is the only place where he has heard the N-word.

The baseball community has continued to support Adam Jones. On Tuesday, as he walked up to the batter’s box, he was showered with applause and ovations. Surprised by this kind gesture, Jones then thanked the Red Sox Fans. MLB’s Commissioner Rob Manfred and players association chief Tony Clark both released statements about the inappropriate behavior at the ballpark. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Police Chief Bill Evans both got involved and even increased security at Tuesday game. Massachusetts governor also spoke out and said in a tweet

Fenway fans behavior at the #RedSox game last night was unacceptable & shameful. This is not what Massachusetts & Boston are about.

Overall, this controversy has brought light to the issue of racism in the ballpark.

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Controversy at Fenway Park