The topic of racism is once again at the forefront for the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park this season.
Comcast SportsNet New England reporter Evan Drellich originally tweeted about the fans holding the sign.
Security quickly confiscated the banner and removed those holding it. pic.twitter.com/b8xjLBW8O5
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) September 14, 2017
The message the fans were holding was a message of anti-racism, as later discovered by the network. Group members said the original eight people who planned to show this message came from activist groups like Black Lives Matter.
“Mostly groups that affiliate with racial justice causes. And the banner came in response to the racist comments at the beginning of the season at Fenway,” the group member said, according to CSNNE.
The racist comments the group member is referring to are the claims that All-Star Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones made in May about Red Sox fans. Jones claimed that fans threw peanuts at him and called him the N-word. A White fan was later caught that same series flicking off Jones as he came up to bat.
The city of Boston has a rough sports history when it comes to race. Many past and present professional athletes have shared horror stories during their time in the city. Long-time Boston sports journalist Howard Bryant wrote an entire book Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston, detailing the divide in the city. So this group decided to call out the elephant in the room on the most iconic landmark in Boston sports: The Green Monster.
“We see Boston continually priding itself as a kind of liberal, not racist city, and are reminded also constantly that it’s actually an extremely segregated city. It has been for a long time, and that no White people can avoid the history of racism, essentially. So we did this banner as a gesture toward that, to have a conversation about that,” the group said, according to CSNNE.
The group said they were booed as they were escorted out of the stadium. A group member later emailed the network to add one more comment.
“We want to remind everyone that just as baseball is fundamental to American culture and history, so too is racism,” the member said. “White people need to wake up to this reality before White supremacy can truly be dismantled. We urge anyone who is interested in learning more or taking action to contact their local racial justice organization.”
Last month, Red Sox owner John Henry made headlines after expressing his interest in changing the name of the stadium street “Yawkey Way.” The street was named after longtime team owner Tom Yawkey in the 20th century who was on record for making many racists statements and was the last owner in the league to sign a Black player.