Banner Hung at Fenway: “Racism Is as American as Baseball”
Security quickly confiscated the banner and removed those holding it. pic.twitter.com/b8xjLBW8O5
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) September 14, 2017
Fans at Fenway Park last night were treated to an unusual sight dangling from the Green Monster: a banner in black-and-white with a bold proclamation in block letters. “Racism is as american as baseball,” it read.
Three people reportedly unfurled the banner for several minutes during Wednesday night’s game, an act that a group of activists says was designed to send a message of antiracism to as wide an audience as possible.
“We are a group of white anti-racist protestors,” the fans tell the Washington Post. “We want to remind everyone that just as baseball is fundamental to American culture and history, so too is racism. White people need to wake up to this reality before white supremacy can truly be dismantled. We urge anyone who is interested in learning more or taking action to contact their local racial justice organization.”
Fenway security ejected four people affiliated with the stunt from the stadium. The Sox say in a statement that was because they violated “the club’s policy prohibiting signs of any kind to be hung or affixed to the ballpark.”
The protesters claim not to be affiliated with any particular group. Earlier reporting that they were affiliated with the black-clad antifascist, or “antifa,” movement, appears to be false. A Twitter account of dubious authenticity, called @BostonAntifa, claimed credit for the protest. But the fans behind the banner tell CSNNE that’s “ridiculous.”
The group, of which there were apparently five, also say they were motivated by an incident early on in the season in which Orioles outfielder Adam Jones claimed he was taunted with racial slurs by Red Sox fans.
Racism is, indeed, part of Fenway history. New discussion of former owner Tom Yawkey’s well-documented bigotry has led current owner John Henry to say he’s “haunted” by it, and is open to changing the name of Yawkey Way.