Yesterday, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports published a Q&A with Orioles outfielder Adam Jones about race issues in baseball and in America at large. Jones was the victim of a racist incident during a game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park earlier this month. One fan threw peanuts at him while another yelled racist epithets at him.
The Red Sox publicly apologized to Jones and made clear strides to remedy the situation, while Major League Baseball issued a statement expressing zero tolerance for that kind of behavior from fans. Former major leaguer Curt Schilling, now a conservative talk radio hero, came out and accused Jones of making the whole thing up.
Schilling isn’t backing down. After Jones mentioned Schilling in his Q&A with Passan, Schilling responded to WEEI.com in a text message, continuing to accuse Jones of pushing an agenda.
If he wants to maintain the lie he made here, that’s fine. No one denies racism exists, but when people like him lie about an incident and others just take him at his word, it perpetuates a mythical level of racism. And for some reason, it appears blacks believe only blacks can talk about racism and only whites can be racists. I promise you if some scumbag yelled the N-word at Adam Jones in Fenway, it would have been on Twitter, Facebook and every other social media site asap, like every other ‘incident.’ Not to mention the liberal Boston media would have broken its neck to identify the racist. But just taking him at his word means there are a bunch of white cowards and racists living here, because no one stood up to the guy. Adam has an agenda and one needs to only look at his past commentary on race and racism to see it. But see, when you question fake hate crimes in this day and age it somehow makes you a racist. If you use this use every word or none at all.
Of course, the Red Sox did ban a fan who used a racist slur at Fenway Park, just not the one who yelled it at Jones. And Jones’ story was backed up by numerous other players who said they experienced similar treatment in Boston, including CC Sabathia, David Price, Jackie Bradley, Jr., Barry Bonds, and Mark McLemore.
As I mentioned yesterday, people in positions of systemic power (e.g. white men) need to learn to listen and empathize when people without that systemic power speak up. Orioles manager Buck Showalter is a great example. Following the incident at Fenway, Showalter said, “I can’t sit here and profess how Adam feels. Like I’ve said before, I’ve never been black, so I’m not going to sit here and try to act like I know. But I can tell you how it makes me feel.” Schilling, on the other hand, has never been a black man and has never even played the outfield at Fenway, yet he’s comfortable erasing Jones’ experience and making a conclusion that goes against the testimonies of numerous other players who backed Jones up.