BOSTON (CBS) – The head of Boston’s chapter of the NAACP says that federal laws cover workplace harassment and they might apply to Fenway Park.
Tanisha Sullivan says those rules may apply because Fenway Park is a workplace.
“That (making a racial slur) would not be appropriate at your workplace or my workplace. That could give rise to some sort of disciplinary action,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan declined to give specifics on what type of action would be appropriate against the fan who hurled the insult at Orioles outfielder Adam Jones.
The NAACP chapter president says she has spoken with Red Sox President Sam Kennedy twice since Monday’s incident.
Sullivan says racial insults in public are all part of a broader issue.
“I think there are two related issues here, one as it relates to Fenway Park and the racial slurs that have been used in the park and the response,” Sullivan said. “It’s not just the response to these particular issues, but how the Red Sox intend to handle these issues going forward is particularly important.”
She also says that those who operate facilities that allow public access have a duty to ensure that everyone is free from harassment.
“There’s a responsibility on those who own the space. I also believe there’s a responsibility on the part of MLB to make sure that it is free from racial harassment and discrimination,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan says she’s not surprised by the insults at Fenway Park adding that the ball park is not really that different than any other public place.
A second incident happened Tuesday when a fan allegedly made a racial slur about the Kenyan native singing the National Anthem.
Calvin Hennick was the man who heard the alleged remark and he reported it to security.
Fenway Park officials ejected the man from the stadium and the fan in question, whose name has not been released, has been banned from the ballpark for life.
After the Jones incident, Mayor Marty Walsh apologized on the behalf of the city. “Let’s sit down and talk,” Walsh said Thursday. “I’m not sure if the people who pulled these acts are Boston residents which says there’s a bigger problem, not a Boston problem but an American problem.”
Sullivan says the bigger issue is how that individual thought they could say it and get away with it. Sullivan believes there’s an undercurrent of racism that exists in the city and agrees with the mayor that dialogue needs to continue.
“There’s something about those city limits that made this person think we would be OK with it,” Sullivan said.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports
WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano contributed to this report.