Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones sent a message to those who have doubted that he was the target of racial slurs earlier this month at Fenway Park.
“This is not a sports debate show,” Jones wrote in The Players’ Tribune on Friday. “This is my real life. It happened. And it’s point-blank disgusting.”
There has been no louder denier of the events detailed first to USA TODAY Sports after an Orioles-Red Sox game on May 1 than former Boston pitcher Curt Schilling, who went on a Boston radio station this week and asserted that Jones “is somebody creating a situation” and was “lying.”
“To the people asking me where’s the proof?” Jones said in a video that was part of his story. “Well, what I’d say to people is to come play center field and be in my shoes. That’s all I have to say . . . They don’t listen to what I have to listen (to). Just come be in my shoes and your perspective in life will be changed drastically.”
The Fenway incident wasn’t the first time Jones wrote that he was targeted with racially insensitive slurs. Jones, a native of San Diego, detailed the first time he had been subjected to it as a ballplayer.
“I was 19 years old, playing AA ball in Springfield, Missouri, that a white person called me the N-word straight to my face,” Jones wrote. “I was walking home with a teammate after dinner, and this older guy on a bike came riding past, yelling out racist insults at us for no reason.
“Of course, he didn’t stop. He didn’t engage with us. He didn’t look us in the eye. He pedaled away as quick as he could. That’s always how it happens.”
Jones said he doesn’t look forward to talking about the incident with his son someday.
“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,” Jones wrote. “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.”
Jones recently donated $20,000 to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo., and visited the museum when the Orioles traveled to play the Royals last weekend.
May 19, 2017
This isn't about Fenway. It's not about one fan.