BOSTON (CBS) – Last week, former MLB outfielder Torii Hunter said he has been on the receiving end of numerous racial slurs at Fenway Park. On Wednesday, the Red Sox said his “experience is real.”
Hunter, who played for the Twins, Angels and Tigers, said he had a no-trade clause with Boston because of numerous racist incidents.
In a statement released on Twitter, the Red Sox said, “If you doubt him because you’ve never heard it yourself, take it from us, it happens.”
This is real. pic.twitter.com/gMp8MEPb46
— Red Sox (@RedSox) June 10, 2020
The organization said there were seven reported incidents in 2019 where fans used racial slurs at Fenway Park.
“And it’s not only players,” the statement said. “It happens to the dedicated Black employees who work for us on game days.”
Hunter said he shared his experience in hopes of getting people to speak out if another situation arises.
“True change starts from within, and as we identify how we can do better, please know we are listening. We hear you, and we believe you,” the Red Sox said.
Shortly after the statement was posted, Hunter responded, saying, “Change starts now. Much love!”
In 2017, Red Sox owner John Henry said he was “haunted” by a history of racism associated with previous owner Tom Yawkey. The next year, the city unanimously approved a proposal by the Red Sox to return Yawkey Way to its original name, Jersey Street.