A banner that read “Racism is as American as Baseball” was draped over the Green Monster in left field during a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park against the Oakland Athletics Wednesday night.
The banner was reported to have been kept in place a few minutes prior to stadium security removing. The fans that placed the banner were ejected from the ball park.
The fans in a prepared statement said they were white anti-racist protestors, and wanted to remind everyone just as the game of baseball is a part of American culture and history, racism is as well.
White people must wake up to the reality before white supremacy will be dismantled, said the statement, and the group urges anyone interested in taking action or learning more to contact the local racial justice group.
The Red Sox released a statement following the game that said in the fourth inning of the game, four fans opened up a banner and put it over the wall in left field that is a violation of the policy of the ball club prohibiting signs of any type to be affixed or hung anywhere in the ballpark.
One member of the group said the organization at the ballpark included five people, with a fifth member documenting the event on the other side of the stadium.
The person said the five were not associated with any group in particular although they all work in different groups in Boston fighting racism and white supremacy.
He added that the group had been responding to the long history of white supremacy and racism across the U.S. that is continuing to pervade all aspects of today’s American culture.
The protester added that the decision to stage the demonstration at a Red Sox game that was nationally televised was to have a platform that could reach the most possible people.
Some who witnessed the event were confused as to whether the big banner was condemning or endorsing racism. The protesters said they should have known that would happen, but did not consider it an ambiguous message.
Racial incidents are entwined in the club’s history. The Red Sox were the last Major League Baseball franchise to integrate, passing on Jackie Robinson as well as Willie May. John Henry the current owner of the team said recently that he was pushing to change a street name outside the ballpark to no longer honor a former owner who has been associated with practices considered racist.