Red Sox' Sam Kennedy Discusses Creation Of PSA Denouncing Racism, Hate Speech
The Red Sox tonight at Fenway Park will be the "first of the five professional sports teams in the Boston area" to unveil their PSA with athletes "imploring fans to take a stand against racism and hate speech," according to Rhiannon Walker of THE UNDEFEATED. There also will be "panel discussions" before the game against the Astros. Red Sox Owner John Henry said that the club is "going to work hard to make Fenway as inclusive and accepting as possible." Red Sox President & CEO Sam Kennedy began "working on a plan to address racism at the ballpark" following an incident in May involving Orioles CF Adam Jones, and it "ultimately bloomed into all five professional teams." Kennedy "sees the Take the Lead initiative as an opportunity for the organization to live up to the promises" made in '02, when he, Henry and Tom Werner took over the team. Kennedy said he had to "give credit" to Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Boston NAACP President Tanisha Sullivan and state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry for "holding race dialogues" in Boston. Kennedy: "In conversations with the three of them, we thought that it would be great to have a convening and do it with all of the other professional sports teams in Boston." He added, "It’s really important that those of us in leadership positions, those of us who are blessed to work in the sports community, we have an opportunity and an obligation to address these issues and do our part." Kennedy: "One of the things we want is for our athletes to feel comfortable to the extent that they want to take the lead with this initiative, and we’ll be there to support them through social media or other avenues and just continue the conversation" (THEUNDEFEATED.com, 9/27).
PRICE OF SUCCESS: The Red Sox will "raise ticket prices for a third consecutive year." Prices will rise by an average of 2.5%. The team raised ticket prices by 2.9% a year ago and 1.4% in '16. Before that, it had "frozen prices for three of the previous four seasons." In '18, prices will rise between $1 and $5. Prices will "remain the same in other seating and standing areas" (BOSTON HERALD, 9/28).