Banana Thrown at Ballplayer Shows Racism Alive and Well

August 12, 2013
Written by Russell Roberts in
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Orioles' Outfielder Adam Jones
In the ninth inning of a game at San Francisco’s AT&T Park between the Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants, a spectator threw a banana at Orioles’ center fielder Adam Jones, who is African-American. Photo Credit:

Another disturbing and disgusting racist incident that happened yesterday during a baseball game makes one wonder what is going on in America today, and also illustrates how pervasive racism is throughout our society.

In the ninth inning of a game at San Francisco's AT&T Park between the Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants, a spectator threw a banana at Orioles' center fielder Adam Jones, who is African-American.

Later on Twitter, Jones posted this message: "I want to thank whatever [slapd---] threw that banana towards my direction in CF in the last inning. Way to show ur class u jackass."

Even more incredibly, after his tweet Jones began receiving more messages from people defending – yes, defending – the banana thrower. Finally a disgusted Jones replied: "Good chance this means I get off social media soon."

Where to begin? First of all, the idea of throwing a banana at an African-American, with all the vile implications behind the act, is so repugnant that it boggles the mind. Certainly, opposing players throughout history have been pelted with objects throughout history. That's nothing new. Jones had certainly contributed to the Orioles' beat down of the Giants in that game, both batting and fielding.

Gorilla and Banana

Hey, that's the nature of sports. Some days you're the bug, and some days you're the windshield, as Dire Straits says. Deal with it. If you can't, you have no business attending a game. Attending a game carries with it certain implied responsibilities, such as not urinating in public. Another is not to act like a raging idiot.

Secondly, the act happened in San Francisco. San Francisco, for God's sake, the supposed city of tolerance that was championing gay rights for years before the rest of the country caught on. This is tolerance?

Third, the fact that people actually defended the banana thrower shows that they just don't get it. How would you feel if someone handed you a banana and implied that you were somehow sub-human…no better than an animal? For a long time, African-Americans have had to put up with smirks that they're no better than monkeys, and by the way, here's a banana to prove the point.

Finally, the very act itself shows that, despite the era of good feeling that since the United States elected a black president it has somehow gotten past its racist past is pure malarkey. Racism is a horrible trait that runs deep in American society. An election won't change that. What it shows, yet again, is the need for teaching tools like this website so that people can realize the vile consequences of racist actions, and others can pledge never to act so hurtful and insensitive.

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