It’s called the Green Monster, and a banner was hung over it at Fenway Park on Wednesday night scolding America. During a baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Athletics, a banner was unfurled over the Green Monster that read: “Racism is as American as baseball.” The banner reportedly remained in place for just a few minutes before stadium security removed it. The fans responsible for hanging the hate-filled banner were ejected.
“We are a group of white anti-racist protestors,” the fans said in a statement to The Post. “We want to remind everyone that just as baseball is fundamental to American culture and history, so too is racism. White people need to wake up to this reality before white supremacy can truly be dismantled. We urge anyone who is interested in learning more or taking action to contact their local racial justice organization.”
The Red Sox quickly responded with their own statement: “During the fourth inning of tonight’s game, four fans unfurled a banner over the left field wall in violation of the club’s policy prohibiting signs of any kind to be hung or affixed to the ballpark,” the Red Sox said. “The individuals involved were escorted out of Fenway Park.”
One of the members of the group that hung the banner spoke to The Post without giving his name. He said the group consisted of five individuals “not associated with any particular organization although all of us do work as organizers in various Boston groups that combat white supremacy and racism.”
“We are responding to a long history of racism and white supremacy in the United States that continues to pervade every aspect of American culture today,” the protester said. “We deliberately chose a platform in an attempt to reach as many people as possible.”
The Red Sox have a history of controversy rooted in racism. They were the last team in the MLB to integrate. They even passed on Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays. But the present owner, John Henry, recently said that he was trying to change the name of the street outside of Fenway Park so that it would no longer honor the longtime former owner who was tied to racist practices.
The team also recently permanently banned a fan who was reported by another fan for using a racial slur. “There is no place for racial epithets at Fenway Park, in baseball, or in our society,” the team said at the time.
The protester who was involved in the banner incident said that Boston is constantly priding itself as a liberal city that is not racist. But it is actually an incredibly segregated city. They said, “It has been for a long time, and that no white people can avoid the history of racism, essentially.”
The MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said that his office would look into creating league-wide “guidelines” for handling episodes like the banner hanging over the Green Monster.
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Credit: Washington Post