In the aftermath of Red Sox fans welcoming Bill Buckner back to Fenway Park only after they won two World Series, Bosox great Jim Rice recently weighed in on Torii Hunter’s recent charge that Fenway Park has racist fans.
Hunter last week said, “My first five or six (years), I was ‘That N-word.’ Some people would chant that out, some people would throw beer or whatever . . . batteries.”
The former longtime Red Sox outfielder Rice, in his ASK 14 blog this week: “As for racism, I NEVER had any experience like that. I think for a situation to escalate to that level, you have to do something to incite that type of behavior.“
David Ortiz, when asked about Hunter’s comments, also said he’d never heard racist taunts at Fenway, but “You know how it is. When you play for the other team, you’re going to hear some (stuff) like that - wherever you’re at. He’s aware of that.”
Rice, who played for 15 years back in times probably not as racially sensitive, also shot down Ortiz’s “on-the-road” observo: “Actually, I never really heard of this type of behavior at any of the opposing ballparks that I played at. We always thought Yankee fans would be the worst but they’re just like any place else. Fans are gonna say “you suck” because you hurt their ball club.”
Interesting. Has racism gotten worse, instead of better, at MLB ballparks? We don’t think Hunter, Ortiz and Rice are lying, so it sure sounds like it, despite what John Henry is trying to get everyone to believe.