Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones called for better handling of abusive fans after being “berated by racist taunts” Monday night during a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, reports USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
“A disrespectful fan threw a bag of peanuts at me,’’ Jones said in comments following the game. “I was called the N-word a handful of times tonight. Thanks. Pretty awesome.’’
The veteran outfielder, one of 62 African-American players on opening day MLB rosters, is currently in his 12th season. He said that he’s been subject to racism from fans at Fenway Park before, but told USA Today that this was one of his worst experiences as a player.
“It’s different,’’ Jones said. “Very unfortunate. 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.
“It’s unfortunate. The best thing about myself is that I continue to move on, and still play the game hard. Let people be who they are. Let them show their true colors.’’
Red Sox officials confirmed a fan was ejected for throwing peanuts at Jones, per USA Today, and also said that they were investigating how many people security threw out of Fenway Park on Monday.
This isn’t the first time that a black MLB player has told reporters he heard racist taunts in Boston this year. David Price said in January that he heard taunts from Red Sox fans last season, which was his first with the team after signing a massive contract as a free agent in 2015.
“I got it all,” Price said. “It’s all right. I don’t care about that ... I’ve heard that since I’ve been in school. There’s nothing you can say to me that I haven’t heard before. Your ignorance is not going to affect what I’m trying to do. But I feel sad it’s still out there.”
On Monday, Jones said ejecting fans for abusing players on the field wasn’t strong enough punishment. “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,” he said. “Something that really hurts somebody. Make them pay in full.”
The 31-year-old is at least off to a great start on the field. Even after going 0-for-4 in a 5-2 win over the Red Sox on Monday, Jones is batting .309/.369/.479 with four doubles and four home runs through 24 games this season.
The next day, Boston fans gave Jones a standing ovation.