Adam Jones
Adam Jones (Keith Allison/Flickr)

There is a deplorable reality that just won’t go away. Due to the disdain others have for the color of one’s skin, racism consistently raises its ugly head and the victims are persistently people of color.

We would have believed, with all the efforts of Major League Baseball to address the issue of diversity in America’s favorite sport, or the lack thereof, that incidents like what happened this week to Baltimore Orioles out elder Adam Jones would no longer occur. But at a recent Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park, Jones was viciously taunted by a few Red Sox fans who shouted racial slurs, including the N-word, and threw peanuts at him during the game.

The Red Sox management issued an apology and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred quickly responded in a statement released to the media: “The racist words and actions directed at Adam Jones at Fenway Park are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated at any of our ballparks. Any individual who behaves in such offensive fashion will be immediately removed from the ballpark and subject to further action.”

Adams quickly reminds us that the incident in Boston is not an isolated one, adding that many of MLB’s 62 African-American players are accustomed to similar, if not worse, behavior in ballparks across the country.

We admire Adams’ love for the game and his willingness, at the very least, to endure what Curt Roberts, Ernie Banks, Bob Trice, Jackie Robinson and many others went through as they broke the color line in Major League Baseball more than 50 years ago. It’s what keeps them going knowing that they were not the first to reach the home plate of America’s racism and yet achieve great feats against such horrific odds. We can only imagine the stories Nationals manager Dusty Baker, a former player, will write in his memoirs about his experiences on the field and in the board rooms of MLB.

Mr. Manfred and other team owners not only must work harder for greater diversity on the  eld and in the stands, but they must do more to strike racism out of the game.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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