Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia backed up fellow African-American big leaguer Adam Jones on Tuesday, saying he, too, has also been subjected to racial taunts while playing at Fenway Park in Boston.
Speaking to reporters in the Bronx before his Yankees get set to face the Toronto Blue Jays, the 36-year-old lefty was asked about the incident at Fenway Monday where the Baltimore Orioles Adam Jones reportedly had a bag of peanuts thrown at him and was harassed with racial epithets by fans throughout the course of the game.
Here’s what Sabathia had to say:
Sabathia added, “There’s 62 [African-American Major Leaguers] of us. We all know. When you go to Boston, expect it.”
According to one fan who says he was seated 15-20 rows behind the man harassing Jones, the individual seemed drunk and angry.
“…no one said anything to him at first. No one wants to start a fight. There probably wasn’t a way to reason with a meathead of his magnitude,” said the fan, Niko Poulakidas.
The individual was ultimately kicked out of the game in the seventh inning, according to Poulakidas.
Jones said he met with Red Sox owner John Henry on Tuesday and heard from Mookie Betts and David Price — who are also African-American and play for Boston.
Major League Baseball condemned the actions of the fans in Boston and put out a statement attributed to Commissioner Rob Manfred:
According to a report from Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, on Opening Day in 2017 — the overall percentage of African-American ballplayers on Major League rosters was 7.73%.