Adam Jones has played nearly every game for the Baltimore Orioles for eight seasons since his 2006 trade from the Seattle Mariners. That’s a lot of innings, but he’s never had an inning like the one he had Sunday. That’s because a fan at AT&T Park allegedly threw a banana at Jones as the center fielder took his position to start the inning.
From Jones’ Twitter @Simply AJ10:
I want to thank whatever slap—- threw that banana towards my direction in CF in the last inning. Way to show ur class u jack—.
The Giants later issued an apology to Jones and the Orioles, but racism at AT&T Park of all places? In liberal San Francisco? It’s a shocking revelation from a fan base that’s fairly tame by MLB standards. The Giants claim no such provocation was communicated to them following the game, adding that they were reviewing game tape to investigate.
A fan claims he told officials a banana was thrown, but it was more in disgust of the Giants and not directed Jones. The claim could not be verified.
Bud Selig and MLB have gone to great lengths to improve the fan experience at its ballparks following the beating of Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium. It’s another black eye for the league as it’s already fighting the front on HGH and steroids. Now it has to deal with the very real threat of racism to its game.
But it’s nothing new — baseball and racism have been deeply rooted in its origins. Most recently portrayed in the movie ’42’ based on the life of Jackie Robinson, baseball and racism may have been eradicated by Jim Crow standards, but the issue has festered for some time now.
Jones, to his credit, played it fairly cool for such a threat. I mean, he went 2-for-5 in that game and hit a towering home run in the inning prior to that. While black soccer players across the world in Europe are viciously taunted at games by notoriously racist crowds, it’s amazing that MLB fails to realize that there’s a problem in its sport.
MLB has failed once again to take a definitive stance on the issues that matter. Don’t placate us with talk — let’s see more action.