Red Sox Make Significant Statement About Racism at Fenway Park: TRAINA THOUGHTS

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1. While most people were caught up late afternoon Wednesday with NASCAR's announcement that it is banning the confederate flag at all events, another major development was taking place.

Last week, retired MLB outfielder Torii Hunter told ESPN, "I've been called the N-word in Boston 100 times. Little kids, with their parents right next to them. ... That's why I had a no-trade clause to Boston in every contract I had."

This wasn't a totally shocking statement, especially when you remember that former Orioles outfielder Adam Jones revealed he was taunted with racial slurs at Fenway Park just three years ago.

However, what was shocking, at least to me, was that the Red Sox came out publicly to confirm what Hunter said. Not only that, the team went so far as to let everyone know there were seven reported instances of fans spewing slurs at games last season.

I don't want to sit here and give too much credit to the Red Sox for being on the right side of things, but for an organization to expose some of its fans this way is important. 

We've all talked about how what's going on in this country feels different right now and this is more proof. In the past, a team would never call out its customers this way. 

As I wrote earlier this week regarding Trump vs. Goodell, if you're going to make change, you can't be afraid to take heat, you can't be afraid of the reaction, and you can't bother wasting time engaging in a fight. Just go forward and do the right thing.

To see the Red Sox do this was pretty impressive.

Boston's statement also generated kudos from Hunter and Jones.

2. I said it Wednesday and I'll say it again: LeBron James is using his name and platform for good and he should get credit whenever he does it.

3. Aaron Rodgers's quarantine beard is intense.

4. I'd like to clarify this tweet, since, of course, some people on Twitter misinterpreted it.

Because Twitter is awful, some people replied to this tweet by telling me they'd miss baseball. When I said, "I don't believe people will miss baseball...," I wasn't referring to die-hard baseball fans. Obviously, legit baseball fans will miss baseball. I assumed that would be understood, but that's my mistake.

I was referring to people who are more interested in tweeting about how much they hate the owners and/or players than actually watching a baseball game.

This tweet summed up what I was trying to say perfectly:

It makes people feel good to blast off a tweet calling players "greedy" or proclaiming they won't watch baseball ever again if the 2020 season gets wiped out. 

But a lot of those people weren't watching baseball anyway. 

5. A brand new Sports Illustrated Media Podcast came out this morning, and my guest is Nate Burleson from Good Morning Football and CBS Sports.

Burleson talked about the events in the United States since the killing of George Floyd, how he feels about cops, how his grandfather being killed by a cop shaped him as a kid, what he tells his kids about dealing with the police, the Drew Brees controversy, Vic Fangio saying racism isn't a problem in the NFL, whether he was ever uncomfortable in an NFL locker room, and much more.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play.

6. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: This took place 50 years ago today, June 11, 1970.

7. SPORTS HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY: Watch this catch by Cardinals outfielder Jim Edmonds from a 2014 game against the Reds.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.