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May 06, 2017

Former Phillie Doug Glanville didn't want to be traded to Red Sox because of Boston's 'baggage'

After Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said a Red Sox fan at Fenway Park called him the N-word, fellow black players like CC Sabathia and Jason Heyward reacted the same way: not a surprise.

The incident with Jones has dredged up an ugly history of racism amongst Boston's fan base, something former Phillies player Doug Glanville addressed in a Saturday column for the New York Times.

Glanville, who was unfortunately part of the recent mass layoffs at ESPN, noted in his piece that while playing for the Chicago Cubs in 1997, he knew he would likely be traded to one of two teams: Boston or Philadelphia.

Aware of stories about black players getting "second-class citizenship" with the Red Sox, Glanville knew he didn't want to play in one of those cities.

"I did not want to go to Boston because of the aforementioned baggage," Glanville wrote.

Glanville noted that while he's had plenty of great experiences with Boston fans calling games for ESPN, he still reacted to the Jones incident by thinking, "Of course — Boston." To explain why, he shared a story about visiting Fenway while playing for the Phillies:

The city’s reputation certainly was something I thought about in 1999 when I was on the Phillies and in Boston for a series. On three successive days my brother and I went out to eat — or tried to. At each place the host or hostess treated us rudely, if bothering to greet us at all. I could not recall having had that kind of dining experience in-season anywhere else at that point in my major league career. Is it possible I happened to pick three restaurants in a row where the staff was just having a bad day? Maybe.

Glanville concluded the column by suggesting a measured approach: Not all of Boston is racist, but using the "few bad apples" excuse doesn't address the underlying problem:

We all can learn that just as it is unfair to categorically label an entire city or fan base in one stroke, it is equally unfair to categorize a group of people because someone broke into your car, or blame an entire ethnic group because some kids who got bused into your school system are assumed to have lowered your test scores.

The entire column is worth a read, so click here.