The Red Sox have banned a person from Fenway Park for life after the person made a racist comment at the stadium Tuesday to another fan, team president Sam Kennedy said.
The ban is unprecedented in Kennedy’s 15 years with the Sox.
The offender was a middle-aged white man wearing a Red Sox hat and T-shirt, the Boston Globe reported Wednesday. The offensive comment was made after a Kenyan woman sang the national anthem.
Calvin Hennick, who is 35 and white, was at Fenway with his young son as well as Hennick’s father-in-law who is black, the Globe reported. Hennick used to freelance for the Globe, which is owned by Red Sox owner John Henry. The man who has been banned was not identified by the Red Sox or in the Globe story. The man leaned over to Hennick and made the comment, and Hennick asked him if he heard the comment properly.
“Yes, that’s what I said, and I stand by it,” the man said, per the Globe.
Hennick found an usher and the man was ejected.
Kennedy said the Red Sox verified the account.
“I'm here to send a message loud and clear that the behavior, the language, the treatment of others that you've heard about and read about is not acceptable. It's not acceptable to the Red Sox,” Kennedy said Wednesday night behind the press box at Fenway. “Yesterday I think I was angered, frustrated, and today I feel more a sense of sadness. Just deep remorse that these things happen in our society. But it's the reality of the world that we live in.
“It’s incumbent upon those of us in leadership positions to deal with them, tackle them head on, address them and work together to try and stamp them out so that they don't happen again. I want to thank the fan who raised this issue, who did exactly what we asked the fans to do yesterday while all this was going on.”
Kennedy acknowledged the practical difficulty of enforcing a lifetime ban.
“We're going to have to work really hard with our security operation,” Kennedy said. “We know who the person is, and we will work hard to do everything we can. It's unprecedented, so it may be difficult. But I can tell you this was an individual-game buyer, not a season-ticket holder. There are ways. We have eyes and ears on the ballpark.
“But we may not be perfect, we may not get it exactly right, but we have informed this person that they are no longer welcome at Fenway. Our security knows and we're dealing with it in real time as you can tell. We're going to work hard to do our best to enforce it.”
The Red Sox said they’ve turned the matter over to the Boston Police Department, who intend to investigate with their civil rights unit.