Five-time Major League Baseball All-Star Torii Hunter says there’s one team he never wanted to play for due to the racist abuse he had to endure from its fans when he was there as a visiting player.
“I had a no-trade clause in everything I had not to go to Boston,” Hunter said on “Golic and Wingo” on ESPN Radio.
Hunter, who played for the Twins, Angels and Tigers in an MLB career that spanned nearly two decades until he retired after the 2015 season, said he routinely heard racial epithets from some Red Sox fans.
“I’ve been called the n-word in Boston more than 100 times,” he said last week. “All the time. From little kids, and grownups sitting right next to them didn’t say anything.”
He said he had always wanted to play for the team, but given the behavior of some fans, he would never actually agree to do it.
“If you’re doing that and allowing it amongst the people, I don’t want to be there,” he said.
Other ballplayers have also complained about the fans in Boston.
Retired Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia said in 2017 that Fenway Park was the only Major League stadium where he’s heard the epithet ― and said he wasn’t alone.
“We know. There’s 62 of us,” he said, referring to the number of Black players in the majors at the time. “We all know. When you go to Boston, expect it.”
Sabathia was speaking out after racist fans in Boston hurled epithets and peanuts at Adam Jones, then with the Baltimore Orioles.
“A disrespectful fan threw a bag of peanuts at me,’’ Jones told USA Today at the time. “I was called the N-word a handful of times tonight. Thanks. Pretty awesome.’’
The incident led to an apology from the Red Sox.
Jones shared Hunter’s comments over the weekend with mock surprise: