Sabathia's comments come in response to Baltimore Orioles star Adam Jones telling Bob Nightengale of USA Today that he was the victim of racism during Monday night's game between the Orioles and Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
"A disrespectful fan threw a bag of peanuts at me," Jones said. "I was called the N-word a handful of times tonight. Thanks. Pretty awesome."
Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker wasn't surprised to hear of Jones' situation either, as he told Eddie Matz of ESPN.com:
MLB Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, meanwhile, was saddened to hear of the news.
"This thing with [Jones], it makes you well up and get teary-eyed," he said, per Kenny Ducey of Sports Illustrated. "Like, like, you really feel that way?"
It isn't just Red Sox opponents who have cited racism at Fenway Park, however. Red Sox pitcher David Price told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe in January that he heard racial slurs directed at him from Red Sox fans while he was warming up in the bullpen last season.
"I got it all," he said. "It's all right. I don't care about that. My mom is white and my dad is black. I've heard that since I've been in school. There's nothing you can say to me that I haven't heard before. Your ignorance is not going to affect what I'm trying to do. But I feel sad it's still out there."
In the aftermath, Red Sox team president Sam Kennedy issued an apology to Jones and derided the behavior, per Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun, and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred also issued a statement.
"The racist words and actions directed at Jones at Fenway Park last night are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated at any of our ballparks," Manfred said. "My office has been in contact with the Red Sox, and the club has made it clear that they will not tolerate this inexcusable behavior. Our 30 clubs will continue to work with fans and security to provide a family-friendly environment. Any individual who behaves in such offensive fashion will be immediately removed from the ballpark and subject to further action."