Boston Red Sox President Sam Kennedy is apologizing for fans at Fenway Park taunting Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones with racial slurs.
Jones, who is black, said someone in the crowd threw a bag of peanuts at him Monday night. He said he has been the subject of racist heckling in Boston's ballpark before, but this was one of the worst cases of fan abuse he has heard in his 12-year career, according to USA Today Sports.
The five-time All-Star said he was "called the N-word a handful of times" in quotes reported by USA Today Sports and The Boston Globe.
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"It's unfortunate that people need to resort to those type of epithets to degrade another human being," Jones said. "Boo me... just keep the racist stuff out of it."
He said he was focused on the game, so he didn't see who it was, or even if it might have been more than just one person.
"Things like this, they just don't have a place in the game," Jones said. "I thought we'd moved past this a long time ago, but obviously what's going on in the real world, things like this, people are outraged and speaking up at an alarming rate. It's unfortunate I had to be involved with it."
Jones said he met Tuesday with Red Sox owner John Henry, who promised to take action, possibly even revoking the perpetrator's tickets if they can be identified.
"I'm not going to go and say all Boston fans are like this," Jones said. "That'd be very stupid for me to even mention something like that. My career playing against the Red Sox has been amazing." But he added that "there's a long history of these kind of incidents in Boston."
Red Sox officials confirmed that 34 fans were ejected during Monday's game, one for using "foul language" toward a player on the field. But they said it's not clear if that fan who used foul language directed it toward Jones. They said another fan was ejected for throwing peanuts at Jones.
"It's pathetic," Jones said. "It's called a coward. 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. Something that really hurts somebody.''
Kennedy released a statement Tuesday morning that read, "The Red Sox want to publicly apologize to Adam Jones and the entire Orioles organization for what occurred at Fenway Park Monday night. No player should have an object thrown at him on the playing field, nor be subjected to any kind of racism at Fenway Park."
It added, "The Red Sox have zero tolerance for such inexcusable behavior, and our entire organization and our fans are sickened by the conduct of an ignorant few. Such conduct should be reported immediately to Red Sox security, and any spectator behaving in this manner forfeits his/her right to remain in the ballpark, and may be subject to further action. Our review of last night's events is ongoing.”
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh called the incident "unacceptable" in a series of tweets Tuesday morning, adding "We are better than this."
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker also tweeted out a statement, saying "This is not what Massachusetts & Boston are about." He told reporters later in the day, "I'm glad they kicked the guy out and I hope they never let him back in ever again."
The Commissioner of Major League Baseball Robert Manfred Jr. issued a statement following the incident saying "racist words and actions...are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated at any of our ballparks."
He went on to say MLB has been in contact with the Red Sox and will not tolerate incidents such as these and fans who engage in such behavior will be removed from the ballpark.
Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts sent out a tweet Tuesday afternoon urging fans to stand up in support of Jones at Tuesday night's game.
Jones said he also received a text Tuesday from Red Sox pitcher David Price, who has spoken publicly about having racial epithets hurled at him by Red Sox fans.
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said police are working with Fenway Park security officials to find out what happened and if a criminal complaint is warranted.
"From what I understand is that they weren't made aware of it until an hour after the game when the player made the allegation," Evans said.
The Orioles' 5-2 victory marked the latest testy game between the AL East rivals this season, including a dustup in Baltimore just more than a week ago.
In the teams' previous meeting at Camden Yards, Boston reliever Matt Barnes sent a pitch that whizzed behind Manny Machado's head and hit the slugger's bat. Barnes was suspended four games and fined.
Machado had rankled the Red Sox with a late slide into second baseman Dustin Pedroia's left leg two days earlier. Pedroia missed a handful of games.
Orioles pitcher Dylan Bundy hit Betts near the left hip with a fastball Monday night, prompting loud boos.