Torii Hunter spent 19 years in the MLB, suiting up for the Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels and Minnesota Twins. While he did bounce around from one American League team to another, the former All-Star outfielder made it clear he wouldn’t play for one particular franchise.
During a recent appearance on ESPN’s Golic and Wingo, Hunter revealed his unfortunate experience playing on the road against the Boston Red Sox. It turns out the fan base at Fenway Park used racial slurs at the center fielder countless times.
In an effort to make sure that he wouldn’t have to play for a fan base that used that type of vulgar language, Hunter had a no-trade clause to Boston throughout his playing career. He spoke about that during Thursday’s interview.
“I’ve been called the n-word in Boston 100 times. All the time. From little kids, and grown-ups right next to them didn’t say anything,” Hunter said on Golic and Wingo. So I had a no-trade clause and everything I had not to go to Boston. Not because of the teammates, not because of the front office, because if you’re doing that and allowing it amongst the people, I don’t want to be there.”
Torii Hunter explained why he had a no-trade clause to Boston throughout his playing career.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 6, 2020
Although it cannot be confirmed at this very moment, it’s possible that a plethora of MLB players have gone through similar experiences. Baltimore Orioles star Adam Jones made similar allegations about Red Sox fans at Fenway during the 2017 season.
Unfortunately there are fans that completely cross the line and take things way too far. That being said, if players like Hunter come out to share their experiences it could spark change around the league.
Torii Hunter hasn’t played in the MLB since the 2015 season, but he’s a very notable voice in the baseball community, as one of the best defensive players in MLB history. We’ll see if his courage can inspire others to come out and help the league create a better fan environment.