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Red Sox acknowledge recent racial incidents at Fenway in wake of Torii Hunter’s comments

The Red Sox issued a statement Wednesday regarding past incidents of racial name-calling at Fenway.Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

The Red Sox continued to speak out against racism on Wednesday, releasing a statement saying that former All-Star Torii Hunter told the truth about hearing racial epithets at Fenway Park.

Hunter told ESPN Radio last week that his contracts included a no-trade clause to the Red Sox after he was “called the n-word in Boston 100 times” during his career.

“Torii Hunter’s experience is real,” the Red Sox posted on Twitter. “If you doubt him because you’ve never heard it yourself, take it from us, it happens.

“Last year there were 7 reported incidents at Fenway Park where fans used racial slurs. Those are just the ones we know about.

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“And it’s not only players. It happens to the dedicated Black employees who work for us on game days. Their uniforms may be different but their voices and experiences are just as important.

“We are grateful to everyone who has spoken up and remain committed to using our platform to amplify the many voices who are calling out injustice.

“There are well-established consequences for fans who use racial slurs and hate speech in our venue and we know we have more work to do. This small group of fans does not represent who we are, but are rather a reflection of larger systemic issues that as an organization we need to address.

“True change starts from within, as we identify how we can do better, please know that we are listening. We hear you, and we believe you.”

Hunter responded to the post 47 minutes later.

“Change starts now. Much love!” he wrote.

On June 2, the Red Sox posted a letter from CEO Sam Kennedy to the front office staff expressing “profound anguish, outrage, and confusion” over the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor.

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“Racism and police brutality continue to be pervasive in America,” Kennedy wrote.

The team also posted a photograph of the left field scoreboard at Fenway Park with “Black Lives Matter.”

Racist incidents are not uncommon at Fenway.

In 2017, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said fans made racist taunts and one threw a bag of peanuts at him.

Former Red Sox pitcher David Price told the Globe a similar story that season, saying he was taunted while warming up in the bullpen at Fenway while he was a member of the team.

Other Sox players have made similar statements.


Peter Abraham can be reached at peter.abraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.