A report about a racist incident during Game Two of the ALCS at Fenway Park by Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports, became a lightning rod for comments like: “Gee, bet mr. ejection was irish.”
“Sadly racism is alive and well but it is not a crime to state one’s opinion no matter how negatively it is interpreted by others.”
“Figures… Boston fans have historically been labled as SUPER rude!!”
“Looks like a typical Mass. liberal. Big mouth drunk and racist. Ho hum…”
“typical boston fan…. nothing but low class fools.”
“So this is the guy that every Bostonian is cloned from. I knew he was out there somewhere. We’ll just call him patient zero. Stay “Strong” Boston and not so #$%$ dumb all the time. Actually now that I think of it, “Boston Dumb” would make a good T-shirt.”
BOSTON – The fan who ripped a home run ball out of a woman’s hands and threw it back onto the field allegedly spent Game 2 of the American League Championship Series uttering racist remarks, including a parting shot to an African-American man as he was ejected from Fenway Park: “Bye, Trayvon.”
The man was not immediately identified, and stadium security declined to provide his name. But fans in Section 42 of the stadium confirmed that he directed multiple slurs at 25-year-old Angelo Sikoutris, a Detroit Tigers fan from Brooklyn.
The majority of comments focused on condemning the man for his behavior, but these negative comments raise the issue that Boston has a reputation for racism, especially the Sports’ fans, and deserves some serious consideration.
The comments, listed above, unintentionally represent one of the roots of racism: making invalid generalizations about a group of people.
LISTEN: “The idea that another group of people are not of our kind situates them as what social psychologists call an “out-group.” When this happens, powerful psychological biases are likely to come into play.
We develop an “us and them” mentality that leads us to consider these others as a homogeneous mass rather than a group of individuals, and to think them as our moral inferiors.” [http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/philosophy-dispatches/201209/the-roots-racism]
In America, many believe that racism is a “black vs. white” issue.
Consider that the first level of indoctrination for most soldiers is to establish an “us against them” mentality, which suggests that “us” are the “good guys” and “them” are the “bad guys.”
This is intended to over-write the human tendency to “love one another” with fear of the “enemy” and a level of hatred that will allow a soldier to kill other human beings, so that “good” can triumph over evil.
This is why American veterans who fought in Viet Nam now return to the “hill” that they had to take from the “Gooks,” where their comrades and many “enemy” soldiers died and are now covered with blankets of verdant grass and shake their heads and wonder why.
Alex Haley, author of ROOTS said:
“…there is no grouping of people to my knowledge, of any consequence, who have not, at one or another time, been the object of hatred, racism, or who has not had people against them just because they were them.” [http://www.cbn.com/special/blackhistory/scottross_alexhaley.aspx]
Sports have historically provided a healthy outlet for competition and we Red Sox fans take our support of our team quite seriously. We may say we “hate” the Yankees, but, for the majority it is all friendly rivalry that allows both sides to show allegiance to their own tribe and it creates a sense of unity in Red Sox Nation.
Some Red Sox fans see the larger scope of the game and even respect and admire players on other teams; the respect and admiration that fans showed towards Mariano Rivera was the opposite of racism. “Hard core” fans may “hate” a player when he is wearing Yankee pinstripes, but “love” him in a Boston uniform. Didn’t Jerry Seinfeld say that fans root for shirts?
And this comment from a female Yankee fan:
“I am a Yankee Fan , And you won’t see me sticking up for Boston Fans too much , But this Clown/Racist/Bottom of the Barrel Loser should not be considered as a real Boston Fan, As with my Yankees, We have rotten apples , drunks, racists,
However, On the whole Boston and New York Fans are intelligent and know the game and are not behaving like this , and should not be labeled as a whole because of this one Moron, I have a lot of Boston Fans as friends , the Rivalries are in our blood , but mostly (90%) done with Class and knowledge of the game and its history,
It’s a shame that this Loser will put a black eye on all Boston Fans.”
As for the ignorant moron in Row 5 of Section 42:
- You do not wear a visor to a night game.
- You do not forcefully rip a baseball from another fan.
- You do not behave rudely to any other fan.
- You treat fans of the opposing team with respect
TAKE AWAY POINT:
The country is not divided into black and white; it is divided into rich and poor [owners and slaves] and you are part of the 99% who are controlled, and manipulated, but the 1% who own the country and own you.
Q: Weren’t you that kid in my High School who had such a low self-image, that his only way of feeling better about himself was to put kids down?
Somebody made sure that the woman got the souvenir HR ball back.
Although this fearful, self-loathing individual got “famous” with the TV replays, the viral video, and the news reports, the rest of the Fenway crowd got to see the happy ending:
When Big Papi blasted the game-tying HR, that one fan who became anathema was long gone, and the remaining 38,027 Red Sox fans roared and showed their appreciation and respect for their Red Sox hero, the “brown-eyed, handsome man” from the Dominican Republic.
“A-roundin’ third, and headed for home, it’s a brown-eyed handsome man;
Anyone can understand the way I feel.”*
“brown-eyed, handsome man” from “Centerfield,” CENTERFIELD, John Fogerty.
Well, beat the drum and hold the phone – the sun came out today!
We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field.
A-roundin’ third, and headed for home, it’s a brown-eyed handsome man;
Anyone can understand the way I feel.
Oh, put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be Centerfield.
Well, I spent some time in the Mudville Nine, watchin’ it from the bench;
You know I took some lumps when the Mighty Case struck out.
So Say Hey Willie, tell Ty Cobb and Joe DiMaggio;
Don’t say “it ain’t so”, you know the time is now.
Yeah! I got it, I got it!
Got a beat-up glove, a homemade bat, and brand-new pair of shoes;
You know I think it’s time to give this game a ride.
Just to hit the ball and touch ‘em all – a moment in the sun;
(pop) It’s gone and you can tell that one goodbye!