MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred responds to Adam Jones’ claims of racist behavior at Fenway Park
On the morning after the city of Boston and its baseball team were stained by the racist taunts of a few fans, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred did not confine his response to the Red Sox.
“The racist words and actions directed at Adam Jones at Fenway Park last night are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated at any of our ballparks,” Manfred said in a statement.
He said such “inexcusable behavior” would trigger mandatory ejection at all 30 MLB stadiums.
“Any individual who behaves in such offensive fashion will be immediately removed from the ballpark and subject to further action.”
The Red Sox issued an apology to Jones on Tuesday morning after the Baltimore Orioles outfielder said he was subjected to racist behavior at Fenway the previous night.
“A disrespectful fan threw a bag of peanuts at me,’’ Jones said after the Orioles’ 5-2 victory. “I was called the N-word a handful of times tonight. Thanks. Pretty awesome.’’
USA Today confirmed with the Red Sox that a fan did throw a bag of peanuts at Jones, one of only 62 African Americans on an opening day roster this season.
“The Red Sox want to publicly apologize to Adam Jones and the entire Orioles organization for what occurred at Fenway Park Monday night,” Red Sox President Sam Kennedy said in a statement Tuesday morning. “No player should have an object thrown at him on the playing field, nor be subjected to any kind of racism at Fenway Park.”
That fan who threw the peanuts was ejected from the ballpark, the team said. Jones thinks more should be done to punish such behavior.
“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. Make them pay in full. And if they don’t, take it out of their check.
“That’s how you hurt somebody? You suspend them from the stadium — what does that mean? It’s a slap on the wrist. That guy needs to be confronted, and he needs to pay for what he’s done.”
He added, “Things like that need to be handled a little more properly, in my opinion.’’
In his statement, Kennedy said a fan who behaves in such a matter “forfeits his/her right to remain in the ballpark, and may be subject to further action.” He added that the team’s “review of last night’s events is ongoing.”
“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,” Kennedy stated.
A Boston police spokesperson said Tuesday that the incident is under investigation.
Jones said he had experienced racist behavior at Fenway before, but that Monday’s incidents were among the worst of his 12-year career.
“I just go out and play baseball,” he said. “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.”
10:40 a.m.: This article was updated with a response from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.
10:10 a.m.: This article was updated with Boston police looking into the incident.
This article was originally published at 7:45 a.m.
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