A banner draped from the stands of Boston's Fenway Park was meant to spark a conversation, says one of the individuals involved in Wednesday night's stunt. In that sense, it was a success. During the fourth inning of the Red Sox game against the Oakland Athletics, three protesters unfurled a black banner with white lettering, reading "Racism is as American as baseball," from front-row seats above the left field wall as two other protesters documented the incident, report CSNNE and the Boston Globe. Though the sign was only visible for two minutes, it sparked a debate on social media, per the Boston Herald, including about what it actually meant, with some believing it was designed to promote racism. In reality, it was meant to do the opposite.
Designed in response to racist comments Red Sox fans hurled at Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles back in May, the banner was meant "to remind everyone that just as baseball is fundamental to American culture and history, so too is racism. White people need to wake up to this reality before white supremacy can truly be dismantled," the protesters wrote in a statement to CSNNE, adding they were inspired by groups tied to racial justice—including Black Lives Matter, but not antifa. "It's kind of telling that it is being interpreted as [an ambiguous message]," one of the protesters adds. Though at least one person demanded the protesters be arrested, four of them were simply escorted from the park (the fifth protester left separately) because signs are barred from being "hung or affixed to the ballpark," notes a Red Sox statement. (Read more racism stories.)