Red Sox

The Red Sox issued a response to Torii Hunter’s claims of racial abuse at Fenway Park: ‘This is real.’

"We hear you, and we believe you."Β 

Torii Hunter of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim slides safely past the tag of Red Sox catcher Ryan Lavarnway in 2012. Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

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The Red Sox issued a statement Wednesday in response to allegations from former MLB outfielder Torii Hunter about racial abuse he suffered at Fenway Park.

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.”

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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.”

Hunter responded to the statement on Twitter.

“Change starts now,” he wrote. “Much love!”

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.”

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