Following last night's 5-2 win against the Boston Red Sox, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones told USA Today's Bob Nightengale that the Fenway Park fans had called him "the N-word" and thrown peanuts at him. The All-Star said it wasn't the first time he had heard racist taunts in Boston, but it was his the worst experience there in his 12-year career.
"I just go out and play baseball," he told USA Today. "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," he continued. "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."
The peanuts incident was not acknowledged during the MASN broadcast last night, but intrepid Orioles fan @AviMiller, who was sitting in box seats along the third base line, snapped pictures in the immediate aftermath of it, about an hour and 15 minutes into the game.
The first picture shows Jones, a Boston police officer, and several members of stadium security scanning the crowd, apparently looking for the culprit. The second shows the whole Orioles bench turned toward the seats as third base coach Bobby Dickerson talks with security.
Red Sox officials confirmed to USA Today that a fan threw a bag of peanuts at Jones, and was ejected. Jones said he heard some 60 fans had been tossed from Fenway. The team said it was closer to half that.
After a particularly amazing defensive play, Jones appeared to show how tired he was of Boston's shit. In the bottom of the 8th inning, with two outs and a man on second, Jones made a diving catch on a sinking line drive that likely saved a run. As soon as he popped up, he made a decisive fist pump in the direction of the center field bleachers, a pretty clear "Fuck you" to the Red Sox faithful. See a GIF below.
The Red Sox, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred have issued statements condemning what happened. But the idea of Boston being a racist sports town (see: "Black athletes have long seeing Boston as racist," "Playing Through the Pain," and "Give Bill Russell a Damn Statue!") is not exactly new. And lest we forget, Baltimore doesn't have its hands clean either. (See: "How drunk sports fans helped spark Saturday night's violence," "Wild Card: Life in a white man's sport," and "Classless 'fans' mar ReOpening Day.") The team the O's were playing just after the uprising, when drunk fans clashed with protesters, was the Red Sox, by the way.