98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
Talking about life as an African-American professional athlete, former American League All-Star outfielder Torii Hunter told ESPN Radio’s “Golic & Wingo” that he was constantly subjected to racial abuse from Fenway Park fans throughout his career.
“I’ve been called the N-word in Boston a hundred times,” Hunter, who played 19 seasons between three organizations, revealed. “And I said something about it. [People will say], ‘Oh, he’s just a militant, he’s lying, this didn’t happen.’ No, it happened. All the time. From little kids. And grown-ups right next to them didn’t say anything.”
It was enough to get Hunter to work Boston into every no-trade clause he had to his name throughout his playing career.
“So I had a no-trade clause in everything I had not to go to Boston,” said Hunter. “Not because of all the people, not because of the teammates, not because of the front office. Because if you’re doing that and it’s allowed amongst the people, I don’t want to be there. And that’s why I had a no-trade clause to Boston. In every contract I’ve ever had. And I always wanted to play for them. It sucks.”
Hunter, of course, is not the first player to claim that he was the subject of racial taunts at Fenway.
In 2017, then-Orioles outfielder Adam Jones claimed that a fan threw a bag of peanuts his way and called him the N-word. The Yankees’ C.C. Sabathia later claimed that Fenway was the only baseball park where he heard the N-word, and that the league’s black players “expected” it when they came to Boston.
Hunter’s claim comes in the midst of a massive Black Lives Matter movement throughout the United States, and with countless teams and league pledging to devote resources to ending systemic racism.