Metro

‘We can’t remain silent,’ John Henry says of hate and racism

Boston Red Sox principal owner John Henry greeted fans before a baseball game at Fenway Park.
Elise Amendola/Associated Press/file
Boston Red Sox principal owner John Henry greeted fans before a baseball game at Fenway Park.

Below is a statement from Red Sox owner John Henry, who also owns the Boston Globe.

Today, joined by the other major professional sports teams who call Boston and New England their home, the Boston Red Sox call for united opposition to racism and hate in all of their forms. 

We, like many Americans, made the mistake of thinking that our region’s and country’s less-than-stellar pasts were firmly behind us, that 21st century America was becoming a more inclusive nation committed to celebrating diversity. That is not the case.

While this gathering in Boston has been planned for quite some time, the events of the last few days have caused many in the wider world of sports to realize just how important it is to stand — or kneel — together to right some of these wrongs. While this is a conversation that many of us in sports would rather leave to others, at some point these wrongs can no longer be ignored.

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We do not have the option of sitting out that conversation and, in fact, we never have. From Jackie Robinson to Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali to Tommie Smith, John Carlos, the Miami Heat in memory of Trayvon Martin, Colin Kaepernick, and those who have joined him in protesting racial injustice, sports figures cannot sit out national debates any more than others can.

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Our sports teams, our athletes, are woven into the fabric of our society.  For that reason, we cannot remain silent nor still.

This day represents a new beginning to that dialogue locally, leavened with honesty and determination for a future that will place us on the right side of history.

Thank you, Tom Werner, Robert Kraft, Wyc Grousbeck, Steve Pagliuca, Jeremy Jacobs, and all of my Red Sox partners, for sharing this vision and forging this partnership.

Our teams occupy a special place in the fabric of New England life. We have a unique platform to demonstrate what it means to be a good citizen, to take care of our neighbors, to promote inclusion. With that platform comes a responsibility to do exactly that.

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That’s why we are taking the lead today. We hope you will lend your voices, your energy and your commitment to this important effort.

— John W. Henry