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The Red Sox Need To Do Something To Stop Fans From Directing Racial Slurs At Opposing Players

Submitted by on May 2, 2017 – 4:07 pmNo Comment

Unfortunately, the idea of a fan directing racial slurs at an opposing player during a game has become all too common in the sports world. It almost seems like we hear about a fan taking things too far and resorting to racism once every few weeks. But even with that in mind, what took place in Boston on Monday night is completely inexcusable.

According to Baltimore Orioles star Adam Jones, Red Sox fans peppered him with the N-word throughout his team’s game at Fenway Park. Furthermore, one fan picked up a bag of peanuts and threw them at Jones before he was escorted out of the stadium by security. This has led to a debate on Tuesday about what role, if any, the Red Sox need to play in stopping their fans from engaging in racist behavior. The city of Boston has a really bad reputation when it comes to race relations and sports, so it seems the Red Sox need to do something to stop fans from crossing the line when they heckle opposing players. But what can be done?

The answer may lie somewhere inside of what Jones suggested after the game. Rather than simply ejecting someone from the ballpark, Jones said he believes the Red Sox should fine fans who act out of line. In his mind, a sizable fine—think $10,000 or more—will force fans to think twice before they yell out the N-word. And while that seems unlikely, why can’t the Red Sox put measures in place that would essentially make it illegal for fans to yell racial epithets at players? Surely that would stop them from saying some of the things that they’re obviously saying to opposing players.

In the real world, you’re not allowed to harass someone by cursing at them or yelling racial slurs. It would eventually be enough for a cop to arrest you on the grounds of harassment. So why can’t the same rules apply inside of a baseball stadium? Yes, there’s a very thin line that exists between normal heckling and harassment, but it’s also pretty obvious when that line has been crossed. And frankly, even just the threat of there being a real punishment attached to yelling out a racial slur at someone would probably be enough to deter most fans from doing it.

At the end of the day, the Red Sox need to figure out some solution for the problem they’re dealing with right now. They’re not the only city that has this problem, but they do have a long, troubling history when it comes to racist behavior. And if nothing else, they need to show everyone that they mean business and aren’t willing to budge when it comes to shutting down racists at the ballpark. Otherwise, it’s going to continue to be an issue, and Adam Jones won’t be the last black player forced to deal with it.

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