The decision by former MLB All-Star outfielder Torii Hunter to speak out about being subjected to racist remarks during his time in the league has now led to others following suit.
Torii Hunter claims racism at Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox confirm
Earlier in the week, Hunter claimed that Red Sox fans hurled racial insults in his direction multiple times during his 19-year Major League Baseball career. While this didn’t surprise many folks, the Red Sox themselves confirmed it.
In fact, Boston released a statement earlier this week claiming seven different known instances of its fans hurling racist insults in the direction of opposing players last season alone. It was a stunning admission.
Current Cleveland Indians outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. claims Yankees fans yelled racist remarks in his direction
Back when he was a rookie with the Texas Rangers in 2015, DeShields claims that Yankees fans insulted his sister before escalating the situation by calling him the N-word.
“They were wearing me out, talking about my sister, how I would never be as good as my dad, normal stuff,” DeShields said, via ESPN’s Joon Lee. “Even if you do say something, how many people are going to do something about it? That’s just a situation where you feel alone.”
This was part of a larger self-reflection from the outfielder. DeShields now regrets the decision not to kneel during the national anthem when the NFL’s Colin Kaepernick started said protests in 2016.
“I felt like a sellout,” DeShields said. “I always felt like I should’ve been out there with him, and now he’s not even in the league no more. He’s out in Mexico playing. It just sucks that happened to him.”
Will there be national anthem protests once the MLB season starts?
It’s not yet known when the 2020 MLB season will start. It was suspended back in March due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There’s currently a major financial split between the league and its players.
If the season does start at some point this summer, there’s a decent chance players will be seen kneeling during the national anthem. This comes weeks after an African-American man by the name of George Floyd was murdered by a then-Minneapolis police officer.
It’s led to widespread talk about the nature of racial inequality and police brutality in the United States. From the perspective of the sports world, outspoken entities have pretty much been limited to the NBA and NFL worlds.
How widespread are protests around the sports world?
That’s changed. NASCAR has decided to ban the Confederate flag from events moving forward. One of the sport’s top stars has taken on police brutality and racial inequality in a very public manner. Heck, the UFC world has not been immune from protest.
All of this seems to suggest that Major League Baseball will see its fair share of protests once (and if) the season takes place.