Protestors explain motivation behind anti-racism banner at Fenway

Sep 13, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Fans on top of the Green Monster display a racism sign between the top and bottom of the fourth inning during a game. Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

A sign about racism was hung from the outfield wall at Fenway Park during Wednesday night’s game, and the group of individuals who were responsible for it later revealed their motivation.

One of the five anti-racist protestors who brought the banner into the Red Sox-A’s game spoke with under the condition of anonymity, as he or she did not want to distract from the sign’s message.

“There were originally about eight people involved who had this idea, and those eight people come from various organizing groups in the Boston area,” the person explained. “Mostly groups that affiliate with racial justice causes. And the banner came in response to the racist comments at the beginning of the season at Fenway [that Adam Jones spoke of].”

Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said he was on the receiving end of racist taunts from Red Sox fans earlier in the season. The group who held the banner said it was surprised that some people thought it was promoting racism, as the intended message was the exact opposite.

“We want to remind everyone that just as baseball is fundamental to American culture and history, so too is racism,” the group said in a written statement. “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.

“But overall, we saw, we see Boston continually priding itself as a kind of liberal, not racist city, and are reminded also constantly that it’s actually an extremely segregated city. It has been for a long time, and that no white people can avoid the history of racism, essentially. So we did this banner as a gesture towards that, to have a conversation about that.”

The group told that it is not associated with Antifa or Antifa Boston in any way. Four individuals were ejected from the ballpark due to the Red Sox’s policy about signs being hung from or affixed to the stadium. The fifth member of the group was not near the banner when it was unveiled, but he or she left voluntarily.

The Red Sox have a long history with racism issues. The team was the last in baseball to integrate racially. In addition to the Jones incident, team owner John Henry recently said he wanted to start a movement to change the name of a street behind the Monster that’s named after former team owner Tom Yawkey, who had a racist history.

Yardbarker: MLB

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