Fans were removed from Fenway Park during Wednesday's game between the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox after a banner with the caption "Racism is as American as baseball" was hung from the Green Monster.
Comcast SportsNet New England's Evan Drellich provided an image of the banner being displayed:
Evan Drellich @EvanDrellich
Security quickly confiscated the banner and removed those holding it. https://t.co/b8xjLBW8O52017-9-14 00:22:42
The Red Sox released a statement on the banner, per Jen McCaffrey of MassLive.com:
"During the fourth inning of tonight's game, four fans unfurled a banner over the left field wall in violation of the club's policy prohibiting signs of any kind to be hung or affixed to the ballpark. The individuals involved were escorted out of Fenway Park."
One of the planners behind the banner told Drellich it was intended to be an anti-racism message:
"There were originally about eight people involved who had this idea, and those eight people come from various organizing groups in the Boston area. Mostly groups that affiliate with racial justice causes. And the banner came in response to the racist comments at the beginning of the season at Fenway [that Adam Jones spoke of].
"But overall, we saw, we see Boston continually priding itself as a kind of liberal, not racist city, and are reminded also constantly that it's actually an extremely segregated city. It has been for a long time, and that no white people can avoid the history of racism, essentially. So we did this banner as a gesture towards that, to have a conversation about that."
"There's no place for that," Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts told reporters of the banner. "That's for another day, though."
Per ESPN's Marly Rivera, third base umpire Joe West and Boston police officials worked in conjunction with Fenway Park security to remove the fans holding the sign from the stadium.
The fans unraveled the sign and displayed it on the Green Monster in left field after the top of the fourth inning. McCaffrey noted the sign "hung for a couple of minutes" before security were able to pull it down.