After the uproar this week when a player for the Baltimore Orioles reported he was the target of racist epithets at Boston’s Fenway Park, some fans gave Adam Jones a standing ovation the next night.
Heartwarming stuff. Everything cool now? Nope.You can’t clap racism away.
There were a fair number of fans who sat with their arms folded, however. And the typical and insufferable white sportstalk radio bro’s were questioning whether the incident happened at all. And former Red Sox star Curt Schilling said Jones was “creating a situation” by speaking out against racism.
This week, Boston has been the lab rat for how racism flourishes from one end of the country to the other.
What nobody noticed the night of the feel-good moment was that before the game, a woman from Kenya sang the National Anthem.
Calvin Hennick couldn’t help but notice. Because he was sitting with his 6-year-old son when the racism started.
— Calvin Hennick (@CalvinHennick) May 3, 2017
Hennick did what too few people do. He fought back. He told an usher about the racist.
“Yes, it was a racial comment,” Red Sox club President Sam Kennedy said, according to the team. “It was a racial comment used to describe the national anthem that was taking place, the performance of the national anthem. It was sickening to hear.”
The racist has been banned from Fenway Park. For life.
“I want to thank the fan who raised this issue, who did exactly what we asked the fans to do yesterday while all this was going on,” Kennedy said. “As soon as they felt uncomfortable, and they heard inappropriate and offensive language, they went right to an usher, and to our security, Boston police, and this issue was dealt with swiftly and effectively by our team here.
“And I’m really proud of that. And I’m really grateful to the fan who dealt with this issue exactly as you would want them to. And hopefully this is a step forward, and in a crazy way, maybe something very positive can come of this and we can continue this conversation in baseball and in society.”
“This makes you wonder how many people are thinking [racist thoughts] and not saying it,” Hennick tells the Boston Globe. “People are feeling very comfortable with bigotry that we haven’t seen in a long time.”
When he posted his story on Facebook and Twitter, commenters said the incident never happened.