WASHINGTON — A day after fans at Fenway Park yelled racial slurs and threw peanuts at Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, Boston right fielder Mookie Betts called on the Red Sox community to “literally stand up” for Jones and “say no to racism.”
As Jones walked up to bat in the top of the first inning Tuesday, fans at Fenway rose to their feet and cheered the opposing player — a rare sight inside any Major League Baseball park.
After Monday’s game, Jones described the “pathetic” treatment he was subjected to on the field.
“A disrespectful person threw a bag of peanuts at me and I got called the ‘N’-word a handful of times,” Jones said after the Orioles’ 5-2 win, The Boston Globe reported. “It was pretty awesome out there. Just part of the job, right? That’s one of the worst nights. It’s very unfortunate, to be honest with you.”
The incident received national media attention. On Tuesday, Red Sox President Sam Kennedy issued a formal apology, and MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred Jr. issued a statement saying that such actions will not be tolerated and that “the behavior of these few ignorant individuals does not reflect the millions of great baseball fans who attend our games.”
Betts took to Twitter later Tuesday to encourage Red Sox fans to stand up for Jones.
“We as @RedSox and @MLB fans are better than this,” Betts wrote.
During the first inning of Tuesday’s game, Kennedy spoke to the incident on Boston Red Sox Radio Network WEEI. He said he wanted the fans’ partnership in identifying people who are acting inappropriately at games and that he was proud to see the Fenway crowd cheer on Jones after what played out the night before.
“That’s who we are as a fan base, and that was so great to see,” he said.
“You know, that’s the sad and disappointing thing about when these things happen,” Kennedy added. “One person can say something despicable or offensive, and unfortunately it casts a negative light on an entire region. ... That’s why we have to work so diligently together to try and make sure people know that that won’t be tolerated, there are consequences to be paid for such actions.”
CORRECTION: The subheadline in an earlier version of this story misstated the name of Orioles player Adam Jones as Alex Jones.