BOSTON — Baltimore Orioles All-Star center fielder Adam Jones was berated by racist taunts at Fenway Park while a bag of peanuts was thrown at him Monday night, calling it one of the worst cases of fan abuse he has heard in his career.
“A disrespectful fan threw a bag of peanuts at me,’’ Jones said, “I was called the N-word a handful of times tonight. Thanks. Pretty awesome.’’
Jones, one of just 62 African-Americans on opening-day rosters this year, said he has been subjected to racist hecklings in the past at Fenway Park, but said this was one of the worst experiences of his 12-year career.
“It’s different,’’ he said. “Very unfortunate. I heard there was 59 or 60 ejections tonight in the ballpark. It is what it is, right. I just go out and play baseball. It’s unfortunate that people need to resort to those type of epithets to degrade another human being. I’m trying to make a living for myself and for my family.
“It’s unfortunate. The best thing about myself is that I continue to move on, and still play the game hard. Let people be who they are. Let them show their true colors.’’
Red Sox officials confirmed to USA TODAY Sports that a fan threw a bag of peanuts at Jones, and was ejected from the ballpark. They were investigating the total amount of people who were ejected from the game, but believed it was about half the amount for a variety of violations.
Jones was grateful the fan was caught who threw the bag of peanuts toward him into the dugout, but wishes the punishment was much more severe.
“It’s pathetic,’’ he said. “It’s called a coward. What they need to do is that instead of kicking them out of the stadium, they need to fine them 10 grand, 20 grand, 30 grand. Something that really hurts somebody. Make them pay in full. And if they don’t, take it out of their check.
“That’s how you hurt somebody. You suspend them from the stadium, what does that mean? It’s a slap on the wrist. That guy needs to be confronted, and he needs to pay for what he’s done.
“At the end of the day, when you throw an object onto the field of play, the player has no idea what it is. What if something hit me right in the eye and I can’t play baseball anymore. Then what? I just wear it? No.
“Things like that need to be handled a little more properly, in my opinion.’’