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An inheritance for refusal

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  July 20, 2012 09:14 AM

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With all due respect to Boston.com's Obnoxious Boston Sports Fan, a racial birthright is something no Red Sox fan should be burdened with.

In chronicling the recent, unfortunate incident between Carl Crawford and the idiotic Leominster cop, OBF writes, "Red Sox fans carry this legacy. It's an undeniable part of the package, along with "Teddy Ballgame," "The Impossible Dream" and "The bloody sock." And it's that legacy that makes what (allegedly) happened with Crawford that much more frustrating, agonizing and flat-out embarrassing."

Embarrassing? Yes. For the cop.

Why the rest of us have to be throttled into more racial stereotypes is beyond me.

Was Boston a racist city in the past? Based on the history we've been told, you bet. Is it now? Hard to say, though the indiscretions of the past refuse to escape us, even if the percentages of creeps hover in the lower digits.

Calling Boston racist as a whole is like calling Germany a Nazi country or the entire American population Springsteen fans. The majority of us simply don't want to be associated with those people. It takes one guy to spike the punch though. Thanks, Mr. Policeman. 

Once again, Boston is a place where minorities are portrayed as second-rate by the rest of the country. Even on Monday, you could feel a certain, "tsk tsk" from certain members of the media after Crawford stepped to the plate for the first time in 2012 to an ovation paling in comparison to the one Kevin Youkilis had received.

Are they paying attention to the story?

Crawford was a monumental disappointment in his first season here, while Youkilis was a contributor to two World Series wins. I'll also bet a good bit of the ovation Youkilis received was directed straight into the dugout, where Bobby Valentine and the cantankerous, golf-clapping duo could hear. To compare the receiving Crawford heard to Youkilis' is like saying traffic on the Expressway is on par with Route 100 through Morrisville. Suggesting otherwise simply exhibits a God-like, lesson-rendering mentality.

"Red Sox Nation was complicit in all of this, cheering on one big white stiff after another," OBF writes. "Both GM Dan Duquette and the current ownership group with Theo's help did spectacular job in forever changing the look of the team. Time and pain has changed the attitude - if not the makeup - of the fan base. Fans learned the hard way about the perils of their team not wanting this player or that player because of his race - starting with Willie Mays. The repercussions shook Fenway until 2004."

Wait. Did I miss something?

2004?

I'm not even sure what that means, so I guess winning a title cures all bouts of racist vibes? It is this sort of haphazard nonsense that has plagued this region, the area tossed off as racist in various circles whether or not it's part of a comedy bit or some serious discourse. What are we, some overblown high school where we gain a reputation solely on the acts of one person, or even worse, what one person says about us?

You know who employed the first black player in the NHL? The Boston Bruins, that's who. It's not their fault - nor any Bostonian - that the Red Sox had a racist owner.

But let's all continue to pay with the stigma that we all have the same line of prejudice as people that none of us knew 50 years ago. That's a fantastic legacy to have, and one that continues to be perpetrated by those who don't have any idea about the racial and cultural fabric of the city.

On another note, damn Crawford looks good, no?

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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