Hunter, a five-time All-Star who played in the majors from 1997-2015, said last week he had a no-trade clause for Boston in his contract despite wanting to play for the Red Sox.
“I’ve been called the N-word in Boston 100 times, and I said something about it,” Hunter said on ESPN’s “Golic and Wingo.”
“So I had a no-trade clause in everything I had not to go to Boston. 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.”
The Red Sox supported Hunter in his allegations. According to the team, there were seven reported incidents of fans using racial slurs last season, but the statement acknowledged the possibility of more.
“Torii Hunter’s experience is real,” read the statement. “If you doubt him because you’ve never heard it yourself, take it from us, it happens.”
This is real. pic.twitter.com/gMp8MEPb46
— Red Sox (@RedSox) June 10, 2020
Hunter responded to the statement on Twitter.
“Change starts now,” he wrote. “Much love!”
Change starts now. Much love!🙏🏾👍🏾✊🏾✊🏻✊🏽✊🏿✊🏼 https://t.co/aoUqmUX24E
— Torii Hunter (@toriihunter48) June 10, 2020
Read the team’s full statement:
Torii Hunter’s experience is real.
If you doubt him because you’ve never heard it yourself, take it from us, it happens. Last year there were 7 reported incidents at Fenway Park where fans used racial slurs. Those are just the ones we know about.
And it’s not only players. It happens to the dedicated Black employees who work for us on game days. Their uniforms may be different, but their voices and experiences are just as important. We are grateful to everyone who has spoken up and remain committed to using our platform to amplify the many voices who are calling out injustice.
There are well-established consequences for fans who use racial slurs and hate speech in our venue, and we know we have more work to do. This small group of fans does not represent who we are, but are rather a reflection of larger systemic issues that as an organization we need to address.
True change starts from within, and as we identify how we can do better, please know we are listening. We hear you, and we believe you.”