When I heard a black NHL player’s game-winning goal was greeted by a torrent of racist tweets it wasn’t hard to guess which city’s team lost.
Par for the course for Boston, where racist sports fans have always felt at home.
Sport and race always has been a combustible pairing in Boston. In the 1970s, when Russell was coaching the NBA‘s Seattle Supersonics, he said that as an African-American he’d rather be a lamp post in Seattle than the mayor of Boston.
Perhaps reflecting the racial attitudes of owner Tom Yawkey, the Red Sox were the last major league team to sign a black player (Pumpsie Green, in 1959). Years earlier, the team held a tryout at Fenway Park for Jackie Robinson and other black players, a charade designed to placate a liberal member of the city council. …
Darnell McDonald, an African-American outfielder in his third year with the Red Sox, said: “I’ve had the n-word written on my car, in Boston. It’s individuals, man. Racism is everywhere; I’m not just going to say Boston. It’s just unfortunate that people are that ignorant.”
He’s right, it’s not just Boston. But somehow Beantown always manages to find its way into any conversation involving racism and sports.
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