The politicization of sports continues. This time America’s pastime was the target.
A group of people decided to hang a banner from the “Green Monster” at Fenway Park in Boston Wednesday night during the Red Sox game against the visiting Oakland A's.
The banner read, “Racism is as American as Baseball.”
The group responsible for hanging the banner told Comcast SportsNet New England (CSNNE) that they’re “white anti-racist protestors," adding that Antifa Boston has falsely taken credit for the banner.
“The five of us are in no way associated with Antifa nor did Antifa Boston have anything to do with the action," the group member wrote CSNNE via text.
According to CSNNE, the activists told reporters in a phone call:
There were originally about eight people involved who had this idea, and those eight people come from various organizing groups in the Boston area. Mostly groups that affiliate with racial justice causes. And the banner came in response to the racist comments at the beginning of the season at Fenway [that Adam Jones spoke of].
But overall, we saw, we see Boston continually priding itself as a kind of liberal, not racist city, and are reminded also constantly that it’s actually an extremely segregated city. It has been for a long time, and that no white people can avoid the history of racism, essentially. So we did this banner as a gesture towards that, to have a conversation about that.
Adam Jones, an outfielder for the Baltimore Orioles, was the target of several highly publicized racist comments during a May 1 game at Fenway Park against the Red Sox.
The radical protest group Black Lives Matter (BLM) was said to have been one of the inspirations for the group’s banner protest. Those who put up the banner were removed from the stadium after a discussion between the umpires and Fenway security.
Shoving politics into sports is becoming more and more of a trend, one that sports media organizations like ESPN have continued to make more fashionable. Even as more and more positive coverage is given toward athletes who use their fame as a political soapbox, the network recently came under fire for being too lenient toward liberal hosts like Jemele Hill, and harsher toward its more conservative employees.