That’s the best way to describe both the Adam Jones incident last night in Boston and the city itself.
In 2017, the same old crap is still happening. That city has fans that do and say some awful things to opposing players. Worse, race – again – was the focus of their hate, outrage.
Jones, the Baltimore Orioles’ star centerfielder, said that he was the target of racial slurs as a bag a peanuts were thrown his way while playing against the Red Sox in Fenway Park last night.
“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. Thanks. Pretty awesome.”
Jones added that it wasn’t the first time he had a slew of racists taunts thrown his way at Fenway. But he said Monday night was among the worst experiences of his 12-year major league career.
Michael Henrich (@MichaelHenrich) May 2, 2017
“It’s unfortunate,” Jones said. “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.”
This morning, the Red Sox, the Massachusetts governor and Boston’s mayor all offered apologies for the terrible incident. Gov Charlie Baker, on his Twitter account, called it “shameful.”
“The Red Sox want to publicly apologize to Adam Jones and the entire Orioles organization for what occurred at Fenway Park Monday night,” the Red Sox said in a statement. “No player should have an object thrown at him on the playing field, nor be the subject 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.”
Scott Isaacs (@ScottIsaacs) May 2, 2017
You never want to paint an entire city with a broad brush. After all, it’s usually the work of a few pathetic fans.
Still it’s hard to ignore the history of this city and other incidents that have marred sporting events and opposing players.
Enter 2012. Not 1812, but five years ago. Joel Ward, a black player for the Washington Capitals, scored the game-winning, overtime goal to eliminate the Boston Bruins in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Mad racists Bruins fans took to Twitter and unleashed vile language against Ward. They weren’t just mad that their team lost. It was apparently more painful that a black player beat the home team.
They used the N-word like it was going out of style. He was called a monkey and all kinds of other disrespectful names.
For sure, it was a low point in Twitter history. And that’s saying a lot when you think of some of the stuff spewed on the social media site.
But before fans were able to take hate to the internet, Boston fans were front and center with well-documented racists attitudes – even toward players that wore the hometown uniform.
Hello, Bill Russell. All he did was win for the city of Boston. He played there from 1956 to 1969. Russell led the Celtics to 11 championships.
And the best Russell could say about the fan base when he was a star was that they were racists.
Former Celtic legend Tommy Heinsohn said Russell was painted as anti-white. In reality, Heinsohn said Russell wanted to be treated as an individual, a man with respect. It just wasn’t the case in Beantown.
Without question, Russell was slighted in Boston despite his accomplishments.
“All I know is the guy won two NCAA championships, 50-some college games in a row, the Olympics, then he came to Boston and won 11 championships in 13 years, and they named a bleeping tunnel after Ted Williams,” Heinsohn once said.
By the way, Williams never won a thing while playing for the Red Sox in 19 years. In his lone postseason appearance, the 1946 World Series, he batted .200 with no homers and one RBI in a seven-game series the Red Sox lost.
Heinsohn’s point is well taken.
Did we mention that the Boston Red Sox were the last team to integrate their roster?
Oh yes, Boston and race have always seemed to collide in sports. Monday night reminded us of that.
It’s a shame. It’s Boston.