Fenway Park’s dark history with racism towards African-American players takes another turn with former Red Sox slugger Kevin Youkilis’ comments.
Former Red Sox slugger Kevin Youkilis, who played in Boston from 2004-12, is just the latest player to go in detail about vulgar and racist chants from fans directed at African-Americans at Fenway.
While we wait on a 2020 season, the Red Sox have had to answer for several new accusations, most notably from retired outfielder Torii Hunter, who claimed Boston was on his no-trade clause because he was so accustomed to hearing racial slurs in road games at one of baseball’s cathedrals. Jackie Bradley Jr. has since confirmed he’s heard derogatory language as well.
Kevin Youkilis revealed he heard racist chants directed at African-American players at Fenway Park.
Per Youkilis, a Jewish man from the Brookline area near Boston originally, there was one specific incident in which he got fed up with a fan and even had to step in.
“There was one incident where a fan came running down and was being extra harsh towards one of our black players, and I just got fed up and I stood up and told him to ‘Shut the F up, and if you don’t like it get out of here’. I will never forget that moment because I was boiling. You could see the tension, and it wasn’t the same tension that was towards a white player,” Youkilis said in a FOX Sports radio segment.
Youkilis is the first predominantly white player to step forward about his experience in Boston. He joins the likes of Hunter, Bradley Jr. and Adam Jones as recent MLB players to bring such incidents to light.
While these stories may not be what Red Sox fans want to hear right now, if the George Floyd protests have taught us anything, it’s that we must be able to confront racial inequality in all walks of life.
This includes the ballpark, even if some would rather look in the other direction.