Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has condemned the actions of Boston Red Sox fans after Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones says he was the subject of racist abuse and insults during Monday night’s game at Fenway Park.
“A disrespectful fan threw a bag of peanuts at me,” the athlete said, according to USA Today. “I was called the N-word a handful of times tonight. Thanks. Pretty awesome.”
Jones, one of just 62 African-American players on the Opening Day rosters this year, added that this wasn’t the first time he was on the receiving end of racist hecklers at Fenway but that this was among the worst nights in his 12 years in Major League Baseball.
“Very unfortunate,” Jones said. “I heard there was 59 or 60 ejections tonight in the ballpark. It is what it is, right. I just go out and play baseball. 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.”
Baker denounced the fans’ actions in a tweet on Tuesday morning.
“Fenway fans behavior at the #RedSox game last night was unacceptable & shameful,” he wrote. “This is not what Massachusetts & Boston are about.”
The Red Sox issued a statement on the incident apologizing to Jones and his team.
“No player should have an object thrown at him on the playing field, nor be subjected to any kind of racism at Fenway Park,” they said. “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. Such conduct should be reported immediately to Red Sox security, and any spectator behaving in this manner forfeits his/her right to remain in the ballpark, and may be subject to further action.”
They said they are investigating last night’s events.
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Officials also confirmed to USA Today that the fan who threw a bag of peanuts at Jones was ejected from the game, but the All-Star center fielder feels there needs to be harsher punishments.
“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,” he said. “Make them pay in full. And if they don’t, take it out of their check.”
He continued, “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.”
Jones said he wouldn’t let the hecklers affect his game — and the Orioles came out with the win on Monday, 5 to 2.
“The best thing about myself is that I continue to move on, and still play the game hard,” he said. “Let people be who they are. Let them show their true colors.”