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Billboard facing Mass. Pike near Fenway Park says ‘Black Lives Matter’

A Black Lives Matters billboard now faces the Massachusetts Turnpike by Fenway Park.
A Black Lives Matters billboard now faces the Massachusetts Turnpike by Fenway Park.Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

The phrase “Black Lives Matter” was emblazoned Wednesday across the large billboard that faces the Massaschusetts Turnpike near Fenway Park, as the Red Sox continue to affirm that they “stand with those” fighting for racial equality, a team spokeswoman said.

Red Sox spokeswoman Zineb Curran said in a statement that the Black Lives Matter message was placed on the “254-foot-long billboard that sits on Lansdowne Street and faces the Mass Pike. Recognizing that we have work to do ourselves, we wanted to show that we stand with those who are working to achieve racial equity.”

The billboard, Curran said, “is operated by the Red Sox Foundation and one of the ways we plan to amplify the Black Lives Matter movement throughout the baseball season as a way to amplify the voices of those who share our values, but may not share our platform.”

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The team, whose principal owner, John Henry, also owns the Globe, has previously spoken out against racism amid demonstrations locally and around the country following high-profile killings of Black people by police in Minneapolis, Louisville, and elsewhere.

On June 2, the Red Sox posted “Black Lives Matter” on the Fenway scoreboard, followed by a statement from team CEO Sam Kennedy, who said silence “in the face of injustice is unacceptable.”

In addition, the Red Sox recently announced they’ll include a social justice component during the ceremony before Friday night’s season opener against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway. On Tuesday, Kennedy and chairman Tom Werner met with players to discuss their participation in the ceremony.

The team also promised to fully support any player who chooses to take a knee during the national anthem, though manager Ron Roenicke said he doesn’t believe anyone intends to do that.

“We haven’t told players you have to do anything. We have given them the right, which is what this country is all about, and the freedoms to do what they feel strongly about,” Roenicke said Tuesday.

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He added that by “making sure they know we feel — whether it’s John and Tom or Sam or [chief baseball officer] Chaim [Bloom], they’ve all said the same thing: That we’re supporting the BLM and we’re going to do what we need to do here to make sure that the players know we support whatever they do.”

Pete Abraham of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.