CC Sabathia, others come forward to detail racist taunts in Boston

By Ethan Sears
CC Sabathia delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium. Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

In the wake of Baltimore Orioles’ outfielder Adam Jones being taunted with racial slurs, including the N-word Monday night at Fenway Park, Yankees’ pitcher CC Sabathia shared his own experiences with the Boston faithful with reporters.

“I’ve never been called the N-word [anywhere but Boston],” said Sabathia, per Erik Boland of Newsday. “There’s 62 [black Major Leaguers]. We all know. When you go to Boston, expect it.”

It’s unfair to indict the entire population of a city and no doubt this is likely a small proportion of the population. However, Boston has a long history of racism that should be acknowledged here.

This is a city that protested school bus desegregation as late as 1976 — 11 years after being ordered to desegregate by the Massachusetts legislature and 22 years after Brown v. Board of Ed. It’s also a city which subjected its iconic basketball star, Bill Russell, to so much racism that he refused to come back when they retired his number in 1972.

At one point, someone broke into Russell’s house in order to defecate on his bed. Evidently, Boston’s own stars are still being subjected to racism today.

The fact that this is still happening today is reprehensible. It’s probably a small portion of the fans and of the city that think this way and it’s unfair to indict an entire population over that, but there’s clearly some sort of institutional problem at work. If every black player in the league — including those that play for the Boston Red Sox — is subjected to racial slurs at Fenway Park, something has to be done.