The rehab game that Carl Crawford was playing for the Double A team from Maine when they visited the club in Manchester, NH was fairly standard. The game went well. Overall, Crawford put in a good performance and was pleased with his effort. But he noted that he was upset over being taunted by a racial slur from a fan. Then it became clear that the man who hurled the slur was a Massachusetts police office.
It’s reported that the officer, John Perrault, has used racial slurs publically twice before. It happened once when watching a NBA game at a bar and another time at a St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Perrault was an officer in the Leominster Police.
After and investigation, it it was recommended by the Leominster Chief of Police to the mayor that he fire the officer. Mayor Dean Mazzarella wrote in the termination notice of officer John Perrault, “You have demonstrated through your racist comments that you cannot continue as a patrol officer.”
The slur occurred when Perrault was heckling Crawford and called him a “Monday,” which is a racial slur for a black person in the U.S. Joseph Sandulli, the attorney for Perrault, said that it was all a misunderstanding.
Sandulli noted, “He feels strongly he didn’t mean the comment in a racial way, and he’s not a racist, and he wants to establish that.”
Okay, so he calls him a “Monday,” then what DID Perrault mean? If it wasn;t a racial slur, then what was it?
Robinson, Mays and Others
There’s no place in American sports for anyone, least of all someone who is supposed to uphold the law, heckling in that manner. When Jackie Robinson came up, he had to deal with horrible remarks from spectators, players and more. Willie Mays did too as did Roberto Clemente and many others.
Remember Al Campanis’ remarks in 1987 that were offered on the late-night ABC News program Nightline. It was the 40th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s Major League Baseball debut (April 15, 1947). Campanis, who was on the Dodgers’ team with Robinson and was a close friend, made a remark to Nightline anchorman Ted Koppel after he asked him why there had been few black managers and no black general managers in MLB.
Campanis’s answered that blacks “may not have some of the necessities to be, let’s say, a field manager, or, perhaps, a general manager” for these positions. Koppel actually gave Campanis the opportunity to retract the statement but he stood by it.
No Room at All
Campanis’s remarks were made in pure ignorance but Perrault’s are meant to denigrate and ridicule. No matter what the case may be there is no room at all for this sort of thing in 21st century American sports.