If you haven't heard by now, Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam "Not Pacman" Jones claimed that last night he was taunted by Red Sox fans at the game. These taunts (according to him) were racially motivated, and included him getting hit in the face with a bag of peanuts. This has forced public statements from everyone from the Red Sox team, to Governor Baker, to Boston Mayor Mahty Walsh. Here's Jones' direct quotes, from Boston Globe article written by Nick Cafardo:
“A disrespectful person threw a bag of peanuts at me and I got called the ‘N’ word a handful of times,” Jones said following the Orioles’ 5-2 victory over the Red Sox. “It was pretty awesome out there. Just part of the job, right? That’s one of the worst nights. It’s very unfortunate to be honest with you. I heard there were 50-60 ejections tonight in the ballpark. It is what it is. I just go out and try to play baseball.”
Alright, look. For the most part, the Boston media has done a nice job today bridging the gap between defending their city and not condoning racism. And I'd like to think that I'm consistent, in the fact that I just don't believe anyone. Ever. If the lady at Dunkin says "Have a nice day" I assume internally she wants me to go screw. Because people lie. A lot. All the time. Like incessantly. Why? Because lying is easy. And people know that OTHER people are also lying sacks and think we're all better off living in a society where nobody tells the truth ever. Having said all that, I just need 3 questions answered before I believe his story:
1. Does anyone have video/picture evidence of Adam Jones getting hit with a bag of peanuts?
2. He specifically said "a handful of times". So on at least FIVE different occasions, he heard FIVE different people all yell the N-word at him? That seems extreme for a Monday night. What's the actual number, Adam?
3. Speaking of extreme for a Monday night - He heard 50-60 ejections? Was it dollar beer for white folks night? I'm sorry, but in all my years of going to sporting events, I've never seen more than 'a handful' (his words not mine) of ejections ever, never mind in one game. On a Monday night. in May.
So yes, racism exists. Not just in Boston, but everywhere. It's a real problem. But if we find out that Adam Jones made this stuff up, he's causing more harm than good to the issue of race. Could I be totally misreading this whole story? Possibly, although I would like answers to my three questions stated above. I'd like to at least claim that the accused is innocent until fact finding proves them guilty, unless that part of the American process no longer exists. But if Adam Jones thinks it's cool to make false blank statements about large groups of people who all have one thing in common? Well, then he might have just defined what racism is.