(WTNH)–LeBron James spoke up on the incident at Fenway Park earlier this week, saying that while he’s never personally experienced racism from Boston fans, he applauds the reception Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones received the next night.
James gave a thoughtful answer to the question, speaking not only on the incident in Boston, in which Jones says fans directed racial slurs and threw peanuts at him, but on racism in day-to-day life.
“With the Adam Jones situation, I don’t know who said it or what happened, or the whole community in Boston, whatever the case may be, and I’ve heard a couple athletes say that you expect that when you go to Boston.”
“For me, I’ve been to Boston, I’ve played in Boston a lot, I just try to have tunnel vision when I play. I can’t recall me ever hearing something that was racism towards me, but I think it was great that the other guys spoke up for him, not even on his own team, I think the guys from the Red Sox spoke up for Adam Jones saying like, ‘Hey fans, this is a situation where you guys need to have a standing ovation. Please do that because it’s not great for sports, it’s great for society.’
Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts tweeted that fans should give Jones a standing ovation the night following the incident, which they did. “Fact: I’m black too,” Betts wrote in the tweet.
James said the opportunity he has as a professional athlete to further the discussion on race is one that he doesn’t take lightly, and said he believes continuing to have a dialouge about it is beneficial.
“You got guys like Martin Luther King, who all he talked about was trying to unite all of us — no matter the color, no matter the race, no matter the shape or size. Racism is gonna be a part of time forever, I believe, but I think for us, the people that have the opportunities to have a voice and people that have an opportunity to have some play on the youth that’s coming up, we have to lead them the best way we can, and we have to live with the results. So hopefully I was able to answer your question. It’s a real, real longer conversation, but if we can keep the conversation going, I think it helps.”