Fans denounce racism with sign above Green Monster

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 13: A banner with the message 'Racism is as American as baseball' is draped over the Green Monster during the fourth inning of the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park on September 13, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

BOSTON (AP) — A few fans seated above the Green Monster dropped down a sign denouncing racism during the fourth inning of Boston’s game against Oakland at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.

The sign — draped over the top middle of the 37-foot Monster — had a black background with white letters that read: “Racism is as American as Baseball.”

It was up for about one batter and the umpires asked it be removed because it was in fair territory. There was a spattering of boos from the crowd as Red Sox security forced them to remove it and escorted the people from their seats. A Red Sox spokesman said four people were escorted from the park and that one of them said they were inspired by Black Lives Matter.

It’s not the first time that the Red Sox have responded to the topic of racism at the ballpark.

Earlier this season, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said after a game on May 1 that he was the victim of racial slurs and had peanuts thrown at him during the game.

The next day, Jones received a personal apology from Boston team president Sam Kennedy on behalf of the club. When he stepped up for his first at-bat of the game, he was also given an extended applause from the Fenway crowd.

Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale stepped off the mound to allow the applause to continue.

“Just appreciative that action was taken and not everybody feels the same way as selected people,” Jones said. “Sale, who works extremely fast, took his time and let it relish a little bit, so I appreciate the sentiments,” Jones said after Boston won 5-2.

In August, owner John Henry said his team will lead the effort to change the name of Yawkey Way. The street is currently named after Tom Yawkey, who owned the team from 1933 to 1976 but refused to integrate the team from 1947 to 1959.

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