BOSTON (WHDH/AP) — The Boston area’s five major professional sports teams are unveiling a joint initiative to fight racism and hate speech.
The Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, Bruins and Revolution launched the “Take the Lead” project at Fenway Park Thursday.
The event included the debut of a public service announcement featuring current players from all five teams opposing racism, hate, inequality and discrimination. The video will be shown at Fenway, Gillette Stadium, and the TD Garden.
The video’s message is simple: “Stand for our teams but don’t stand for racism.”
“It’s not between the veterans, the military and someone kneeling for the national anthem. It’s much bigger than that. It’s a human being thing,” Celtics guard Kyrie Irving said.
Former players from the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins and Celtics, team executives, civil rights leaders and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh attended the event.
Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy previously said the effort was sparked by two racist incidents at Fenway Park in May, including one when an opposing player was called a racial slur.
“I think it’s important. We’re talking about race and everything that’s going on, especially in professional sports,” Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said. “It’s great to get this out there and see where we go from here.”