After Racist Incident Targeting Adam Jones, Orioles’ John Angelos Condemns Nation’s Intolerant Atmosphere in Letter

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Orioles COO John Angelos isn’t known for being shy about his opinions, particularly when the discussion involves Freddie Gray or Donald Trump. Yesterday, responding to a nasty incident involving racist fans targeting Adam Jones in Boston on Monday night, he ran a letter on the website for the progressive magazine The Nation condemning the “sickness” of racism across the country.

To recap, it all started Monday night when the Orioles played the first of four games against the Red Sox. During the game at Fenway Park, some jerk called O’s All-Star outfielder Adam Jones the n-word, and another threw peanuts at him on the field.

Afterward, Jones aptly told USA Today, “It is what it is, right. I just go out and play baseball. It’s unfortunate that people need to resort to those type of epithets to degrade another human being. I’m trying to make a living for myself and for my family.”

The person who shouted the slur and 33 others were ejected from the park that night, Red Sox President Sam Kennedy told a Boston radio station. In separate statements, he and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, among many others, condemned the behavior and promised to remove other racist fans from ballparks in the future.

On Tuesday, Angelos penned his own response to the controversy that took a wider philosophical angle. In addition to addressing the scary frequency with which these racist public outbursts are happening lately, he tried to explain why he thinks people act this way.

“Let us be clear that these hatreds are borne of irrational and disturbed individual minds as well as of the larger movements, philosophies, and divisive initiatives that these individuals embrace, in turn empower, and are empowered by,” he wrote.

He challenged those good-natured souls who, at a minimum, aren’t racist scumbags, to “not merely passively and politely disagree with these offensive individuals and philosophical movements and the putrid hate-mongering and American Dream–stealing racism, exceptionalism, and nativism that they espouse.”

“We must stand up to, speak truth to, and face down this growing movement of open, notorious, arrogant, and dictatorial hatred in all its forms,” he continued. “And we must do so in every place where this competition will be contested, from the living room to the boardroom and from the grandstand to the state house to the capital mall just as our fathers and mothers and their ancestors have done in this country time and again throughout American history.”

It doesn’t do his words justice to summarize them, but suffice it to say, they read like an iconic speech that deserves to be given in an address to thousands.

Click here to read Angelos’ full letter.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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