A group of unknown activists unfurled a banner at Fenway Park Wednesday night right atop the famous Green Monster, roughly around the 4th inning, while the Oakland A’s were playing the Red Sox. It wasn’t a sign that read “she said yes,” or “let’s go Sox!”…. it read “racism is as American as baseball.”
— ~WhoIsTavecchio~ (@ChuTlknBoutWils) September 14, 2017
Security quickly confiscated the banner and removed those holding it. pic.twitter.com/b8xjLBW8O5
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) September 14, 2017
Umpire Joe West got together with Boston police officials and park security to have the fans who held up this sign removed from Fenway pic.twitter.com/EZYo94WqMR
— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) September 14, 2017
The ‘fans’ were immediately removed by security. Many initially thought the banner was a statement made by white supremacists, while it was actually quite the contrary.
CSN New England reportedly spoke with one of the organizers of the demonstration on the promise of anonymity. They confirmed that the banner was an anti-racist statement, something to start a conversation following an incident earlier this year in which Orioles outfielder Adam Jones cited racism while at Fenway; not to mention that Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia noted that he had been called the “n-word” in Boston, and just last month Red Sox ownership said they would rename a street outside of Fenway named after former racist owner Tom Yawkey.
“There were originally about eight people involved who had this idea, and those eight people come from various organizing groups in the Boston area,” the group member said by phone. “Mostly groups that affiliate with racial justice causes. And the banner came in response to the racist comments at the beginning of the season at Fenway [that Adam Jones spoke of].
“But overall, we saw, we see Boston continually priding itself as a kind of liberal, not racist city, and are reminded also constantly that it’s actually an extremely segregated city. It has been for a long time, and that no white people can avoid the history of racism, essentially. So we did this banner as a gesture towards that, to have a conversation about that.”
Well, these anonymous activists got what they wanted — a conversation. Hopefully this statement progresses in the right direction.
Josh Helmuth is the editor of Crave Sports.