Orioles outfielder Adam Jones has not been shy about speaking out following the incident at Fenway Park on May 1, when he was the target of racial slurs yelled by a fan. The Red Sox banned the fan, who also threw a bag of peanuts onto the field at Jones,
Orioles outfielder Adam Jones has not been shy about speaking out following the incident at Fenway Park on May 1, when he was the target of racial slurs yelled by a fan. The Red Sox banned the fan, who also threw a bag of peanuts onto the field at Jones, from the stadium for life.
Jones continued to tell his side of the story Friday, when, in an essay and video for The Players' Tribune, he attempted to explain the situation to his 3-year-old son.
"How am I supposed to talk to my son about what happened? Ten years from now, he'll be 13 years old, and if he Googles his dad, this incident will probably come up. He'll read a lot of confusing things," Jones wrote. "Maybe he'll read about how some people didn't even believe that it really happened. Maybe he'll read about how the fans at Fenway gave his dad a standing ovation the next night. Maybe he'll read about what happened right before the standing ovation, when a Red Sox fan was ejected for using a racial slur toward the Kenyan woman who sang the national anthem.
"What is he going to make of all that?" Jones continued. "Deep down, are people good? Are they bad? How should he see the world? He's too young to fully understand now, so I sat down and recorded this video so that, years from now, when he looks up what happened, he hears it from his father."
In the video, Jones recounts the first time he could remember experiencing racism. Jones, who grew up in a diverse area in San Diego, said he first felt the sting of racism as a Minor Leaguer in 2005. After a game in Springfield, Mo., Jones and a teammate were the targets of racial slurs, something that surprised Jones.
"I remember being shocked, thinking, 'This stuff really happens? In 2005?'" Jones wrote. "I mean, I was a kid. I was naïve. But my teammate was from Georgia, and he was used to it. He just shrugged and said, 'Man, don't even worry about it. Some people are just stupid.' Well, it's 2017, and some people are still just stupid."
Jones has said that while he's experienced racism again since then, the incident in Boston constituted one of the worst experiences of his 12-year-career. Major League Baseball condemned the fan's behavior, and the crowd at Fenway Park gave the five-time All-Star a standing ovation the next night.
"Come play in center field and be in my shoes," Jones said in the video. "Certain shoes that other people are wearing are completely different than mine. They don't have to deal with what I have to deal with, they don't listen for what I have to listen for."
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.