It is enough yet? For those of you who don't know @SimplyAJ10 is Adam Jones on Twitter. I am among those who have been to Fenway hundreds of times and never heard anything like this. I railed, along with many others, when Adam Jones said of an experience at Fenway on May 1, 2017: "A disrespectful fan threw a bag of peanuts at me...I was called the N-word a handful of times tonight. Thanks. Pretty awesome."
And now Torri Hunter has come out and said "I have been called the N-word in Boston a hundred times." Of course this isn't the first time. Back in 2017 Hunter had this to say:
In my bubble here in Boston I refused to listen. I'd think of the Freedom Trail and the Civil War and think 'There's no Confederate battle flags flying here.' When CC Sabathia talked about the same thing at Fenway I blew it off as Yankee hate.
When is it enough? Jackie Bradley Jr. is the MVP of the 2018 ALCS against Houston. He won the World Series with the Red Sox. He's polarizing because of his beyond belief defense and streaky offense. Fans adored him at rolling rallies in 2013 and 2018, and have cheered him thousands of times at Fenway. He doesn't say he's heard the same, but on the Twitter post by Adam Jones above he replied: "I definitely have appreciated both of y'alls leadership and advice along the way (with the 100 emoji)."
What he didn't say was "I've never heard that Torri and Adam".
Are we going to listen or are we going to stick our heads in the sand? It's been too long, from this vantage point it's long past time for us to listen. We have issues Boston. Maybe Mookie Betts is purely after top dollar, maybe he didn't accept over $300 Million from the Red Sox for other reasons.
It's time to listen. In light of the murder of George Floyd it's time. In the light of learning about the 1921 Tulsa race massacre from "Watchmen" on HBO instead of history books (from a N.E. prep school and an Ivy League University), it's time to listen. In the blinding light of hearing all the stories of deaths of African Americans at the hands of police, it's time to listen.
We in Boston are not immune or above it all. To those who call Fenway beloved like I do, it's time to listen.
Then maybe we can take the next steps. I'm hopeful we can, but we haven't yet so only God knows.
Peace and love to all.
Featured Image via The Bleacher Report