Red Sox team president Sam Kennedy apologized to Adam Jones on Tuesday morning after the Baltimore Orioles center fielder was subjected to racial slurs at Fenway Park on Monday night.
Jones said after the game that a bag of peanuts was thrown at him and he was, “Called the N-word a handful of times.”
Jones said he saw some as-yet-unidentified fans ejected for their behavior, which the Red Sox confirmed.
“The Red Sox want to publicly apologize to Adam Jones and the entire Orioles organization for what occurred at Fenway Park Monday night. No player should have an object thrown at him on the playing field, nor be subjected to any kind of racism at Fenway Park,” Kennedy said in a statement.
“The Red Sox have zero tolerance for such inexcusable behavior, and our entire organization and our fans are sickened by the conduct of an ignorant few. Such conduct should be reported immediately to Red Sox security, and any spectator behaving in this manner forfeits his/her right to remain in the ballpark, and may be subject to further action. Our review of last night’s events is ongoing.”
On WBUR, Mayor Martin J. Walsh also reacted to the incident.
“This is unacceptable and not who we are as a city,” Walsh said. “These words and actions have no place in Fenway, Boston, or anywhere. We are better than this.”
Via Twitter, Governor Charlie Baker said: “Fenway fans behavior at the Red Sox game last night was unacceptable & shameful. This is not what Massachusetts & Boston are about.”
Michelle Wu, president of the Boston City Council, said such an incident is demeaning to the city as a whole.
“No one should be subjected to racial slurs anywhere in our city,” Wu said. “It’s an insult to all of Boston and all Red Sox fans that these words were used in the name of our home team.”
Boston Police Lieutenant Detective Michael McCarthy said the department was unaware of Jones’ allegation until officials heard about it from the media on Tuesday morning.
“There is an allegation made by a player after the game. There was never an incident reported to the police department or to Fenway,” McCarthy said. “There were no notifications to officers at the park last night, by any of the fans, spectators, or by any of the other players.”
McCarthy said there were 34 fan ejections from Fenway on Monday night, all handled by Red Sox security, not police.
“We are working with Fenway to see if there is any way to either identify a victim or suspect, and to speak with the victim,” McCarthy said. “There were [33,489] people, and we have to figure out if someone said something they shouldn’t have, and even if they did we have to figure out if that was a crime.”
McCarthy said that in 23 years on the job, this is the first time he can remember hearing of an incident similar to what Jones reported.
Kennedy said 34 ejections are more than double the usual number for a game but he did not know why that was. He acknowledged there have been similar incidents in the past involving racial slurs that led to ejections from the park.
Jones, a five-time All-Star, has been playing at Fenway Park since 2008. He told USA Today after the game that he has heard racially abusive comments at Fenway and other parks before, but usually not to the extent he did on Monday.
“Tonight was one of the worst,’’ Jones said. “It’s different, very unfortunate. It is what it is, right. I just go out and play baseball.
“But it’s unfortunate that people need to resort to those type of epithets to degrade another human being. I’m out there trying to make a living for myself and for my family.
“The best thing about myself is that I know how to continue to move on, and still play the game hard. Let people be who they are. Let them show their true colors.”
In a statement, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred condemned the incident.
“The racist words and actions directed at Adam Jones at Fenway Park last night are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated at any of our ballparks,” Manfred said. “My office has been in contact with the Red Sox, and the club has made it clear that they will not tolerate this inexcusable behavior.
“Our 30 clubs will continue to work with fans and security to provide a family-friendly environment. Any individual who behaves in such offensive fashion will be immediately removed from the ballpark and subject to further action.”
Red Sox pitcher David Price told the Globe in January that he was subjected to racist comments at Fenway Park last season while warming up in the bullpen, something the Globe independently confirmed.
Tanisha Sullivan, president of the Boston chapter of the NAACP, called for a lifetime ban on anyone who is identified as the source of a racial epithet not just at Fenway, but at all Major League Baseball parks.
“Mr. Jones was working at the time, so being exposed to that type of treatment while he was working, regardless of what his job is, that should be investigated,’’ she said. “Simple ejection is not enough. This is a significant thing and it’s not acceptable.’’
Sullivan said the incident is “a shame on the city.”