Ideas

How did ‘Monday’ become a racist slur?

A Leominster police officer’s coded insult opens up a world of regular words used for ill

When news emerged earlier this month that Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford said he’d been called a racial epithet by an off-duty Leominster police officer before a minor league game in New Hampshire, reaction was swift. After an internal investigation, which turned up additional racist comments, the Leominster mayor fired the officer on Thursday.

 But the epithet itself still has sports fans and commentators scratching their heads. Allegedly, the officer called Crawford, who is black, “Monday.” Monday? The day of the week? Is this really an insult, and one that has anything to do with race?

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