MLB Proposes New Rule Limiting Fans to Three Racial Slurs Per Game
May 4, 2017 - Following Monday night’s incident in which Baltimore Orioles star Adam Jones was the recipient of racial taunts and slurs at Fenway Park (Boston), Major League Baseball players, coaches, and owners have spoken out about the need to address the issue, as well as how to prevent similar interactions from taking place in the future.
This afternoon, Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that a new rule has been proposed that would limit fans to “three racial slurs per game.”
The proposed rule causes a fan to receive a verbal warning after their first racial slur, a louder verbal warning after the second, and if a third racial taunt is used, the fan is to be ejected and “given a stern lecture about treating others the way you want to be treated.” If the fan appears to feel bad about their actions, they may be allowed to file an appeal for a chance to return to the game.
“Major League Baseball has always maintained the motto ‘For it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out, at the old ballgame,'” said the commissioner. “I’d like to think that applies to all aspects of the game, both racist and non-racist.”
Questions were raised about how this rule would be enforced during games, due to the volume of fans that have to be monitored at all times. Manfred explained that there would be posters placed throughout the stadium that read “BE NICE” in big, bold letters. In case the signs don’t have the desired effect, as an added precaution, a “racism inspector” would be placed at the end of every row of seats to ensure that guidelines are followed.
While the determination of whether or not a statement constitutes as “racist” can be considered open to interpretation, MLB has taken steps to minimize the number of disagreements between fans and the “racism inspectors.” Each fan will be allowed one challenge flag per game, which, if thrown, will initiate an instant replay review of the slur in question.
While Manfred admitted that three racial slurs (per individual fan) were more than the ideal amount of tolerated slurs per game, “Rome wasn’t built in a day. We want to see progress just as much as everyone else, but progress doesn’t just happen overnight.”