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Sam Kennedy on OMF: Adam Jones incident brought Red Sox 'closer together'

Alex Reimer
September 29, 2017 - 2:27 pm

Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy has orchestrated an aggressive response to the two reported racial incidents that occurred at Fenway Park earlier this year. When reflecting on the season, he thinks they wound up bringing the team closer together.

In an interview Friday with OMF, Kennedy discussed the “Take the Lead” initiative, in which all five Boston sports teams are teaming up to combat racism and hate speech. A public servicemen announcement was unveiled ruing the project’s inaugural event at Fenway Park Thursday.

“We're living in an important time in our history. It goes without saying that issues have come to the forefront in the last couple of months –– maybe the last year. The sports community is just a small part of a much, much larger conversation that's going around the country. It was an honor to come together with the Kraft family, the Jacobs family, Wyc (Grousbeck) and Steve (Pagliuca), and have all of these organizations together just having an open, honest, real dialogue about some of the issues that are facing our players, teams and venues. Everything starts with an acknowledgment and conversation. I think we're realistic –– nobody said we're going to go out and change the world or change people's mentalities. But if we can start the conversation, especially with young people –– it was great to have hundreds of middle school and high school kids there yesterday to hear from guys like Cedric Maxwell, Tommy Harper and Andre Tippett and Bob Sweeney –– guys who have lived and played in Boston. Some of my heroes. It was a really special day and a good conversation to have.”

Kennedy once again expressed his disappointment in the Adam Jones incident, saying it was a big shock to him. But in hindsight, he thinks it wound up being a positive for the organization and city as a whole.

“I was shocked by the Adam Jones incident and the incident the next night,” he said. “I know 99.9 percent of the people that come to Red Sox games, Patriots games, Celtics and Bruins games, don't act in this manner. So it really sparked a conversation internally in our front office and our clubhouse. Our players have been a great resource. We have a really diverse clubhouse –– we've got guys from all over the country with different experiences where they're from. It's been a great conversation and I think it's brought our team closer together.”