Jones says racial taunts speak to wider racial issues

BOSTON (AP) " Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said the racial taunts that prompted immediate condemnation around baseball and Boston have no place in the game but speak to larger racial issues in the United States.

"I thought we'd moved past this a long time ago," said Jones, who said he heard fans call him the N-word on Monday night and had a bag of peanuts thrown in his direction.

"With what's going on in the real world, things like this, people are outraged and are speaking up at an alarming rate," he said.

Jones received a personal apology from Red Sox team president Sam Kennedy on behalf of the club. When he stepped up for his first at-bat during Tuesday night's game, he was also given an extended applause from the Fenway crowd, with Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale stepping off the mound to allow the applause to continue.

"Just appreciative that action was taken and not everybody feels the same way as selected people," Jones said. "Sale, who works extremely fast, took his time and let it relish a little bit, so I appreciate the sentiments," Jones said after Boston won 5-2.

Before the game, the All-Star player said he felt "it was just the right time" to speak out.

Kennedy said 34 people were ejected for various reasons Monday night and reiterated the team's "zero tolerance" policy for such incidents. He also said there would be extra security around the outfield.

"I'm a grown man with a family to raise. So I'm not just gonna let nobody sit there and berate me," Jones said. "Where I come from if you say things like that, you put on the gloves and you go after it. Obviously in the real world you can't do that, especially in my field."

Kennedy said that 10-15 people are usually ejected from Fenway any given night, adding that the 34 ejected Monday was unusually high. Along with the fan ejected for throwing the peanuts, a second fan was ejected for using foul language toward a player, though the team didn't know whether the fan used the bad language toward Jones.

Kennedy and manager John Farrell separately met with Red Sox players on Tuesday and said the players reported they'd experienced similar incidents in both Fenway and around the league.

If " one person hears an inappropriate remark or slur, that's one person too many," Kennedy said.

Boston's professional teams " like the city's neighborhoods " had different reactions to the civil rights movement and the integration of professional sports.

While the Celtics and Bruins broke barriers in pro basketball and hockey, the Red Sox were the last Major League Baseball team to field a black player.

In the 1980s, the Red Sox also dealt with an incident during spring training in Florida in which an Elks Lodge was giving passes to only white players.

Outrage and condemnation flowed from around Major League Baseball on Tuesday.

"It's nothing new to any of us," Atlanta Braves outfielder Matt Kemp said. "He let it be known that's what we go through. I mean, it's pretty much normal, especially in some of these cities. I'm not going to name all the cities, but there's some pretty tough cities where people say some pretty ruthless things. There's no filters or nobody holding anybody accountable for some of the things these fans do."

Yankees pitcher CC Sabthia said, "You get called names, N-word, all kinds of stuff when you go to Boston."

Monday's incident also touched off widespread social media use of the hashtag #BostonWrong " a dark twist on the post-marathon bombing #BostonStrong.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker described the incident as "outrageous and disgraceful."

"I'm glad they kicked the guy out and I hope they never let him back in ever again," the Republican told reporters.

Police Lt. Mike McCarthy said a fan threw a bag of peanuts at the Orioles' dugout and hit a police officer posted nearby, not the center fielder. He told The Associated Press that security officials had the man thrown out before police could identify him.

Jones, a five-time All-Star, said he has been the subject of racist heckling in Boston's ballpark before.

"Hopefully the awareness comes," he said. "People around in the stands will hold other fans accountable."

The Red Sox said any spectator behaving poorly forfeits the right to be in the ballpark and could be subject to further action.

"The racist words and actions directed at Adam Jones at Fenway Park last night are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated at any of our ballparks," Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.

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AP Sports Writers Mike Fitzpatrick in New York and Charles Odum in Atlanta, Associated Press writers Steve LeBlanc and Bill Kole, and videographer Rodrique Ngowi contributed to this report.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/khightower

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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