Racist incidents like the one Orioles outfielder Adam Jones experienced earlier this month at Fenway Park have Jones concerned not just about racism in Boston or in baseball, but how such events may impact impressionable children.
His own child, his 3-year-old son, is why he penned an essay entitled "Hate" and filmed a video message for the Players’ Tribune recounting having peanuts thrown at him and being called the N-word on May 1, as well as another time he was called a racial slur when he was 19 years old playing Double-A ball in Springfield, Missouri in 2005.
Jones says his son understands what happened to him this month, but not why.
"How am I supposed to talk to my son about what happened?" Jones wonders in the essay. "Ten years from now, he’ll be 13 years old, and if he Googles his dad, this incident will probably come up. He’ll read a lot of confusing things.
“Maybe he’ll read about how some people didn’t even believe that it really happened.
“Maybe he’ll read about how the fans at Fenway gave his dad a standing ovation the next night.
“Maybe he’ll read about what happened right before that standing ovation, when a Red Sox fan was ejected for using a racial slur toward the Kenyan woman who sang the national anthem.
“What is he going to make of all that? Deep down, are people good? Are they bad? How should he see the world?"
At one point he makes comments seemingly directed at criticism he’s received from the likes of Curt Schilling, who have raised doubts about the Fenway incident, despite the Red Sox acknowledging it and apologizing for it.
"This is not a sports debate show. This is my real life. It happened.
“And it’s just point-blank disgusting," Jones wrote.
He also addresses people doubting the incident in the video, telling them to "come play center field and be in my shoes."