Torii Hunter spoke up, and the Boston Red Sox were listening.
In an interview last week, the former MLB All-Star detailed that he and other players faced racist chants and slurs regularly at Fenway Park, and it was the driving reason Hunter had a no-trade clause for Boston in his contract.
“I’ve been called the n-word in Boston more than 100 times,” Hunter told ESPN. “All the time. From little kids, and grownups sitting right next to them didn’t say anything. If you’re doing that and allowing it amongst the people, I don’t want to be there.”
The Red Sox responded Wednesday, saying Hunter’s claims were “real” and vowed as an organization to push for change.
“If you doubt him because you’ve never heard it yourself, take it from us, it happens,” the Red Sox said in a statement. “Last year, there were 7 reported incidents at Fenway Park where fans used racial slurs. Those are just the ones we know about.
“And it’s not only players. It happens to the dedicated Black employees who work for us on game days. Their uniforms may be different, but their voices and experiences are just as important.”
In 2017, Baltimore’s Adam Jones spoke out against some fan behavior at Fenway Park. Jones told USA Today that he had peanuts thrown at him, and he was “called the N-word a handful of times.”