Protesters made a statement at Fenway Park when they unfurled a large banner about racism during the Boston Red Sox game against Oakland.
The sign, suspended over the top of the 37-foot Green Monster by fans seated behind it on Wednesday, read: “Racism is as American as Baseball” in white letters on a black background.
Racism is American as Baseball banner dropped at Fenway Park pic.twitter.com/9UH6JH5L25
— Guerrilla Prophet (@jaykelly26) September 14, 2017
— Crystal (@thecrystallens) September 14, 2017
Covering part of the Foxwoods logo on the outfield wall, the banner was up for about one batter before security removed it along with the fans from the stands, while some boos could be heard from the crowd.
— Eli Rosenberg (@EliNBCBoston) September 14, 2017
Umpire Joe West got together with Boston police officials and park security to have the fans who held up this sign removed from Fenway pic.twitter.com/EZYo94WqMR
— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) September 14, 2017
One of those individuals spoke to The Washington Post via email, clarifying that there were actually five people involved at Fenway, with the fifth member “doing documentation across the stadium.” The person said the quintet was “not associated with any particular organization although all of us do work as organizers in various Boston groups that combat white supremacy and racism.”
The person told the Post the group had intentionally chosen to stage their demonstration at a nationally televised Red Sox game, saying “We deliberately chose a platform in an attempt to reach as many people as possible.”
It’s not the first time the topic of racism has come up at the ballpark.
In May, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones accused fans of calling him the N-word and throwing a bag of peanuts at him. The incident was condemned by the team who also issued an apology to Jones.
Red Sox owner John Henry announced last month that he was looking to change the name of Yawkey Way, a street outside Fenway currently named after Tom Yawkey, the former owner of the team who refused to integrate them from 1947 to 1959.
The incident quickly made waves on Twitter but did cause a bit of confusion.
There were some who praised the move and applauded the message.
— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) September 14, 2017
This is Great!!!!
— Nick Pineros (@InFaRed1991) September 14, 2017
oh hellll yes
— I have died (@ChrisCaesar) September 14, 2017
Others were strongly against it.
To the fans who draped that banner at Fenway you are disgraceful you do not exemplify Boston sports, you are the worst kind of people
— Dylan (@DJDmoney3) September 14, 2017
— Elliott Hamilton (@ElliottRHams) September 14, 2017
More hate to spread how wonderful. Glad they can afford tickets to a red sox game. I certainly can’t.
— almo (@alisetteo) September 14, 2017
WOW! Can’t say I’m surprised Fenway Park. pic.twitter.com/fveyT99hEO
— Brian H. Waters (@brianhwaters) September 14, 2017
Loser white kids living in a bubble hang “Racism is as American as Baseball” sign at Fenway Park, to increase Instagram followers. pic.twitter.com/SKgfZvzUan
— Bernie sanders (@berniesenate) September 14, 2017
But a lot of people were just confused by the message.
I’m confused by this Fenway sign. Are they (the sign holders) racists or are they calling out racism? Forgive me, my brain is crap today
— Andy (@clevelAndy_) September 14, 2017
No way is it anti racism. Why were they removed then?
— Matt (@mattrph23) September 14, 2017
If the group’s intent was to denounce racism, the sign seems to have confused a lot of people.
— Jen McCaffrey (@jcmccaffrey) September 14, 2017
Wait, is he pro-racism? I’m confused.
— Emily (@emilytimes5) September 14, 2017
Has anyone figured out which side of the issue they’re actually on? That banner is awfully ambiguous
— Michael Baker (@orochi235) September 14, 2017
The Fenway banner people probably should have used less ambiguous phrasing…
— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) September 14, 2017
It was pretty obvious to me exactly what it meant. People thinking it was pro-racism, well, they probably need to reanalyze some things.
— Josh Sánchez (@jnsanchez) September 14, 2017
The number of people who are under the impression that this sign is “pro-racism” is…disturbing.
— Kevin Murray (@kevinsmurray) September 14, 2017
Twitter users also debated the other pressing question of how anyone even managed to get the oversized banner into Fenway Park to begin with.
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Question: how did they get in with that?
— Ari F (@AriF44) September 14, 2017
That banner has gotta be 10 x 7. How do you get that past security in 2017?
— Mike Mutnansky (@MutWEEI) September 14, 2017
I’m confused as to how they “snuck” it in. You can’t get a nip past security, never mind what equates to a living room carpet
— ????Joe ???? (@joerac) September 14, 2017
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