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Torii Hunter had NTC to Boston because of racist taunts from fans

Darren McCollester / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Torii Hunter played 19 major-league seasons between the Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Angels, and Detroit Tigers. One team he made a point never to play for was the Boston Red Sox.

Hunter had a no-trade clause built into every contract that would prevent him from being sent to Boston because fans at Fenway Park directed racial slurs at him, he said Thursday on ESPN Radio's "Golic & Wingo."

"I've been called the N-word in Boston 100 times, and I said something about it," Hunter said. "(People would say) 'Oh, he's just a militant, he's lying, this didn't happen.' No, it happened. All the time. From little kids. And grown-ups right next to them didn't say anything. ... So I had a no-trade clause in everything I had not to go to Boston. Not because of all the people, not because of the teammates, not because of the front office. Because if you're doing that and it's allowed amongst the people, I don't want to be there. And that's why I had a no-trade clause to Boston. Every contract I've ever had. And I always wanted to play for them. It sucks."

It's not the first time Boston's been associated with racism, particularly in baseball. Former Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said he was targeted by racist taunts and had peanuts thrown at him while playing at Fenway Park in 2017.

Additionally, Yawkey Way was renamed Jersey Street in 2018 because of its association with former Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey. He oversaw the team during the integration era and the Red Sox didn't roster a black player until 1959, 12 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.

Hunter recently appeared on a panel with fellow retired black players Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Dontrelle Willis, and LaTroy Hawkins to discuss racism and baseball with Ken Rosenthal and Doug Glanville of The Athletic.

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