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Monday, August 12, 2013

Adam Jones, Baltimore Outfielder, Says Giants Fan Tossed Banana at Him

Posted By on Mon, Aug 12, 2013 at 7:59 AM

Update: Giants issue statement -- see end

Update: Giants fan claims his angry banana toss has been misconstrued -- see end

Sigmund Freud never said it, but, sometimes, a banana really is more than a banana. 

When tossed at a black athlete on the playing field, it's an unsubtle act of racism. There is a long and sorry history of this at European soccer matches, a few incidents during Canadian pro hockey games, and, now, an allegation that a San Francisco fan hurled a banana at Baltimore Orioles centerfielder Adam Jones

Jones fired off the above tweet after yesterday's 10-2 drubbing of the hapless Giants at AT&T Park; he did not mention the alleged incident during postgame interviews, notes the Baltimore Sun. The Giants' director of media relations told that paper the team received no complaints regarding the incident. The team's head of stadium operations told SFGate security footage is being scoured. 

Tossing anything on the field is grounds for ejection -- though blind eyes are routinely turned when fans hurl back opposing home run balls. Jones had just deposited one of those into the left-field bleachers in the top of the ninth -- the coup de grâce in a lost game, a lost series, and a lost season. 

The demeanor of AT&T Park fans hasn't always pleased opposing players -- but, in the past,  the alleged misbehavior has been a sort San Francisco could smirk about. 

During the 2010 World Series, Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton bemoaned the cloud of marijuana smoke emanating from the stands (and the city writ large)

Along similar lines, there was this glorious incident: 

If Jones' allegation is true, however, Giants fans would be far from the playful stoners depicted in the days of yore, but find themselves lumped in with the world's most hateful and ignorant racists.

Truly this is the season of season of Giants fans' discontent.

Update, 11:20 a.m. The San Francisco Giants today issued the following statement which appears to indirectly confirm that a banana was, indeed, tossed Jones' way:

We were extremely disappointed to learn about the incident involving Adam Jones at AT&T Park yesterday. The Giants have a zero tolerance policy against this type of behavior, which results in immediate ejection from the ballpark. While we have been investigating the matter since we learned of the situation, unfortunately we have been unable to identify the person responsible. We would like to extend our sincerest apologies to Adam and the entire Orioles organization for this unfortunate incident. The inappropriate actions of this individual in no way reflect the values of our organization and our fans.

Update, 4 p.m.: A 42-year-old man named Alexander Poulides has told the San Jose Mercury News that he tossed a banana onto the field during yesterday's game, but that it was not intended as a racist statement against Adam Jones.

Instead, he claims he grabbed a banana off a catering cart and hurled it out of the bleachers in frustration over yet another dismal Giants loss. Poulides told that paper that his frustration was with the home team, not Jones -- "I'm embarrassed and shocked by the outcome. In hindsight, I wish I didn't do it and I apologize. I'm very sorry."

SF Weekly phoned the Giants communications department querying what ramifications may befall Poulides. An official there said that decision won't be made "until we gather all our information and finish our investigation." 

Earlier this year, longtime bleacher fixture Tim "Dawg" Perrin was barred from his front-row seats after interfering with a deep fly ball. In that case, however, Perrin didn't embarrass the franchise and its fan base with a perceived racist slur. So it remains to be seen what manner of justice the team will enact against Poulides.


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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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