|Cleon Jones from when TWO BOOTS Pizza first named a slice of Pizza for him at Citi Field|
This paragraph hit me hard. Mets fans. Fans of the team that Cleon played for. The team that today is playing in Queens which is one of the most diverse places in NYC. I just don't get the hatred folks have for people that are different than them. Even today there are folks in the stands that yell out derogatory things at players, think it is part of the game, and don't realize that they can be hurtful.
Throughout his professional playing days, a big-league career that spanned across 13 years, Jones remembers how difficult it was to push himself to play baseball. He was called several racial epithets by Mets fans; he was spit on; things were thrown at him. None of this was easy for Jones, a black athlete in the 1960s and ‘70s playing baseball for a majority-white audience. Jones took society’s hatred of him, however short-sighted and foolish it was, to heart.“I wanted to go up in the stands and just cry, just feel bad,” Jones recalled of the pain he felt then.
This from the Daily News.
Read more here.When Cleon Jones first heard about George Floyd’s killing by police, he was transported back to Mobile, Alabama, in 1977. The former Mets outfielder was driving home while his wife, Angela, was doing so in another car. She made it home safely. Jones was stopped by a white police officer who claimed his turn signal was broken.“Thank you officer, but I didn’t know it wasn’t working,” Jones said.“Where’s your license?” the officer asked.“In the other car,” Jones told him.“OK. Hold on a minute,” the officer said.“I waited and waited and waited until finally I asked, ‘What’s going on? How long do you want me to wait?’ A couple of seconds later, more police vehicles showed up and another officer approached me,” Jones said. “We’re going to whoop your ass,” the officer said.Moments later, a brawl ensued. Jones, a year after he retired from baseball, wrestled with police officers on the ground in his own neighborhood when suddenly, he was hit with a club.“Finally, my mind said get away from here,” Jones recalled in a phone conversation with the Daily News. “I was right in front of my place of business at that time, so I ran around the block.”Except, that didn’t work. The police trailed Jones and soon, began beating him up again. His neighbors came out of their homes and started shouting Jones’ name. Eventually, the officers stopped. “They didn't realize who I was at the time,” Jones said. “When people started calling my name, the white officers realized they picked the wrong individual. And this happened in 1977! God knows what happened before then, because I know for a fact it happened to other folks.”
1977! A year after I was born and situations like this are still going on.
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