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After Joel Ward incident, Darnell McDonald talks about his own run-in with racism

04.27.12 at 6:54 pm ET
By

Darnell McDonald

CHICAGO – For Darnell McDonald, the tweets following the Bruins’ final loss of the season – hurling racial slurs at the Capitals’ Joel Ward — was another reminder. As the Red Sox outfielder said, “It’s 2012 and that’s stuff is still going on. It’s sad.”

But what most people don’t realize is that McDonald was already offered an indication that racism still lingered in the Boston area.

“There was an incident last year where I had the ‘N’ word written on my car, at my house,” McDonald said prior to the Red Sox game against the White Sox Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field. “For me, it was an isolated incident.

“My wife and I, we love Boston. We’ve been treated really well there. I haven’t had any problems at the field or anywhere else. I really chalked it up as pure ignorance. … I really haven’t had anything that blatant. For somebody to take the time to do that, it’s crazy.”

McDonald, who grew up in Texas, said that he told very few people about the incident at his home, not even informing his parents. And the inevitable discussion with his children regarding the topic of racism wasn’t brought to the forefront thanks to the elimination of the word from the car before anyone but he and his wife could see it.

He points out that even after the well-publicized flurry of racially-charged tweets from Bruins fans following Wednesday night’s Game 7 loss (along with his own issue), in his mind, Boston isn’t a racist city.

“Racism is everywhere. It’s not something I would say it happens in specifically Boston,” McDonald said. “I’ve been treated very well there, and have enjoyed being there. It’s more of an isolated thing. To be honest, it really doesn’t bother me because I don’t spend a lot of time entertaining ignorance.

“Hearing about the tweets about the hockey game. It’s just really disappointing to me, it being 2012 and people still feel that way. And they feel that way over a sport. It goes to show we have a lot of work to do in the world, period. We have to keep trying to move forward. Ignorance, we really shouldn’t even waste time on it. For me, I didn’t waste time worrying about that incident that happened to me.

“My wife and I enjoy being out in Boston. We love the city. The people there have treated us very well. I wouldn’t categorize Boston like that, but it is more of an isolated incident. It’s something that can happen anywhere.”

But while McDonald is perfectly content on categorizing both his personal run-in with racism, and the Ward Twitter controversy, as the exception to the rule, he is also clearly uneasy by the notion that such happenings still take place at all.

“It’s just disappointing. It really is disappointing,” he said. “I don’t know if [the tweets] was one person or many people that felt a certain way. To have come this far … We just celebrated Jackie Robinson Day, and to think about the things we went through at that time and that are still taking place. It’s just sad. My parents really taught me that you can’t waste time on ignorant people, and that’s one of those situations, obviously.”

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