HASH(0xb3f970)

Red Sox permanently ban fan for racial slur at another fan

Red Sox permanently ban fan for racial slur at another fan

BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox on Wednesday permanently banned from Fenway Park a man they said used a racial slur toward another fan, a separate confrontation from the insults directed at Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones a night earlier but one the team says it is taking just as seriously.

“I’m here to send a message, loud and clear, that the behaviour, the language, the treatment of others that you’ve heard about and read about is not acceptable,” Red Sox president Sam Kennedy said during an impromptu update for reporters in the back of the press box during Wednesday night’s game.

“We have to recognize that this exists in our culture,” Kennedy said. “It’s not indicative of Boston …. It’s a handful of ignorant and intolerant people.”

One night after Jones spoke out about being called the N-word by a fan in the Fenway stands, rekindling the debate about the city’s mixed history of racial tolerance, the ballpark was the site of another racist encounter.

Calvin Hennick, a Boston resident bringing his son to his first Red Sox game as a present for his sixth birthday, wrote on Facebook and confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday night that a neighbouring fan used a variant of the N-word when referring to the national anthem singer. Surprised, Hennick asked him to repeat it, and the other fan did.

Hennick summoned security and they ejected the other fan, whose name has not been released. Hennick said the man denied to security using a racial slur.

Kennedy thanked Hennick, calling him courageous for speaking out. Asked if he felt inspired or emboldened by Jones’ comments a day earlier, Hennick told the AP: “I think I would have said something anyway. I’m kind of a squeaky wheel.”

“But I’m glad the Sox are encouraging fans to come forward,” Hennick said. “I was just pleased that they took it really seriously.”

Hennick, who is white, was at the game with his father-in-law, who is originally from Haiti, and his biracial son. At first he assumed the other fan mistook him for a kindred spirit, Hennick said, but now he believes the man was reacting to the uproar over Jones.

“I was sitting there with my mixed-race family. The more I think about it, the more I think it was a deliberate thumb in the eye,” Hennick said. “He wanted to prove that he could say whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted.”

The Red Sox declined to identify the banned person, saying the matter had been referred to police. The Boston Police Department confirmed that its civil rights unit is investigating and will determine whether further action is warranted.

Kennedy said he believed it was the first time a fan had been banned for life from the ballpark: “It’s unprecedented, I think, in baseball,” he said. Ushers at the gates will be notified that the fan is not to be admitted.

Kennedy said he was angry and frustrated after the episode with Jones, but the one with Hennick made him sad and feel “deep remorse that these things happen in our society.

“But it’s the reality of the world that we live in,” he said, calling on city and business leaders to “work together to try to stamp them out so that they don’t happen again.

“Hopefully, this is a step forward,” Kennedy said.

Hennick said he didn’t feel like the experience soured him on the ballpark or the city.

“My wife and I have been happy here. I don’t feel uncomfortable walking around Boston with my mixed-race family, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a common occurrence for people,” he said.

“My son doesn’t know what happened and had a great time. He definitely wants to go back, and I plan on going back. All sports teams need to do what they can to address fan behaviour, and I think the Sox kind of have a fire lit under them to make sure they do all they can.”

Jimmy Golen, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Senior curling provincials setting up for exciting finish

Standings tight as Senior curling teams push for provincial playoffs

Rescued snowmobilers ill-prepared for emergency, Castlegar RCMP say

Two men rescued Wednesday night were not ready for overnight in back country

Police share more details on occupants and suspicious van in Fruitvale

Vehicle in question offered young girl a ride to school on Feb. 19

B.C. Interior free from measles

Vancouver measles outbreak hasn’t spread to the B.C. Interior

Parity prevails at BC Senior Curling championship

Teams go toe-to-toe in second Draw at the BC Senior Curling Championship

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Most Read