Boston Red Sox President Sam Kennedy is apologizing to Baltimore Orioles centre fielder Adam Jones after fans at Fenway Park taunted him with racial slurs.
Kennedy apologized Tuesday after Jones said someone also threw peanuts at him during Monday night’s game. Kennedy said the organization is “sickened by the conduct of an ignorant few.”
Jones, who is black, said he was “called the N-word a handful of times” in quotes reported by USA Today Sports and The Boston Globe.
“It’s unfortunate that people need to resort to those type of epithets to degrade another human being,” Jones said.
Red Sox spokesman Kevin Gregg said a total of 34 fans were ejected from Monday’s game. He said one fan was ejected for using “foul language” toward a player on the field, but it is unknown if that was directed at Jones. The fan that hurled the peanuts also was ejected. Gregg didn’t specify why the other fans were ejected.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker called the incident “outrageous and disgraceful.”
“I’m glad they kicked the guy out and I hope they never let him back in ever again. There’s no place in Massachusetts, there’s no place in Boston, there’s no play anywhere for that kind of behaviour,” the Republican told reporters.
Baker said he didn’t know the exact details of the incident, but added: “if you throw something at a player on the field and you hit them, that’s a crime and you can charge somebody for that.”
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans told reporters at a Statehouse news conference on an unrelated matter that police were working with Fenway security officials to find out what happened and if a criminal complaint is warranted.
“From what I understand is that they weren’t made aware of it until an hour after the game when the player made the allegation,” Evans said. “I don’t think security at the time were aware why this individual, if it was this individual, was even escorted out.”
Police Lt. Mike McCarthy said later that a fan threw a bag of peanuts at the Orioles’ dugout â€” not at Jones â€” and hit a police officer posted nearby, not the centre fielder.
He told The Associated Press that security officials had the man thrown out before police could identify him.
Jones, a five-time All-Star, said he has been the subject of racist heckling in Boston’s ballpark before, but this was one of the worst cases of fan abuse he has heard in his 12-year career, according to USA Today Sports.
“It’s pathetic,” Jones said. “It’s called a coward. 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.”
The Red Sox said they were reviewing what happened at the game, but that any spectator behaving poorly forfeits the right to be in the ballpark and could be subject to further action.
“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,” Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “My office has been in contact with the Red Sox, and the club has made it clear that they will not tolerate this inexcusable behaviour.”
The Orioles’ 5-2 victory marked the latest testy game between the AL East rivals this season, including a dustup in Baltimore a week ago.
In the teams’ previous meeting at Camden Yards, Boston reliever Matt Barnes sent a pitch that whizzed behind Manny Machado’s head and hit the slugger’s bat. Barnes was suspended four games and fined.
Machado had rankled the Red Sox with a hard slide into second baseman Dustin Pedroia’s left leg two days earlier. Pedroia missed a handful of games.
Orioles pitcher Dylan Bundy hit Mookie Betts near the left hip with a fastball Monday night, prompting loud boos.
Associated Press writer Steve LeBlanc contributed to this report.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Kyle Hightower, The Associated Press