Adams Jones, the Baltimore Orioles star who focused attention on racism among baseball fans, has a message today for people who dismiss his claims.
“Come play centerfield,” he said in a video for The Players Tribune accompanying his essay today.
He also says it’s not just baseball. It’s not just Fenway Park.
How am I supposed to talk to my son about what happened? Ten years from now, he’ll be 13 years old, and if he Googles his dad, this incident will probably come up. He’ll read a lot of confusing things.
Maybe he’ll read about how some people didn’t even believe that it really happened.
Maybe he’ll read about how the fans at Fenway gave his dad a standing ovation the next night.
Maybe he’ll read about what happened right before that standing ovation, when a Red Sox fan was ejected for using a racial slur toward the Kenyan woman who sang the national anthem.
What is he going to make of all that? Deep down, are people good? Are they bad? How should he see the world? He’s too young to fully understand now, so I sat down and recorded this video so that, years from now, when he looks up what happened, he hears it from his father.
Jones acknowledged people either don’t believe his story or are quick to dismiss it.
Forget about, “Well in hip-hop, they say….”
Forget about, “Well the guy was just drunk.”
Forget about, “Well I’ve never heard that stuff at Fenway before.”
This is not a sports debate show. This is my real life. It happened.
“The worst thing is when people say, ‘I don’t see color.’ I think that’s the dumbest thing,” he tells Yahoo Sports. “Unless you’re colorblind, you see color. You may choose not to think of the other things that come with color, but you see color. At the ballpark in San Diego, you see the diversity. LA, Arizona, San Francisco, both Texas teams. You just see so much diversity. Growing up like that, I always assumed the rest of the United States, the rest of the world, was like that.”