BOSTON (CBS/AP) — A few fans seated above the Green Monster dropped down a sign to make a statement about racism during the fourth inning of Boston’s game against Oakland at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.
The sign — draped over the top middle of the Monster — had a black background with white letters that read: “Racism is as American as baseball.”
It was up for about one batter, there was a spattering of boos from the crowd as Red Sox security forced them to remove it and escorted the people from their seats.
The Red Sox released a statement saying, “During the 4th inning of tonight’s game, four fans unfurled a banner over the left field wall in violation of the club’s policy prohibiting signs of any kind to be hung or affixed to the ballpark. The individuals involved were escorted out of Fenway Park.”
“Yea I saw it,” Red Sox right fielder Mokie Betts told reporters after the game. “There’s no place for that,” he said.
“(I) saw it was draped over the Monster obviously, and from the dugout, you see someone expressing their opinion. And it looked like it was withdrawn relatively quick,” manager John Farrel said.
A group calling itself Boston Antifa took credit for the incident.
It’s not the first time that the Red Sox have responded to the topic of racism at the ballpark.
Earlier this season, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said after a game on May 1 that he was the victim of racial slurs and had peanuts thrown at him during the game.
The next day, Jones received a personal apology from Boston team president Sam Kennedy on behalf of the club. When he stepped up for his first at-bat of the game, he was also given an extended applause from the Fenway crowd.
Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale stepped 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.
In August, owner John Henry said his team will lead the effort to change the name of Yawkey Way. The street is currently named after Tom Yawkey, who owned the team from 1933 to 1976 but refused to integrate the team from 1947 to 1959.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)