May 11, 2017
Best of the States
Fenway incident prompts a deeper look at racial issues in Boston sports
When Baltimore Orioles' outfielder Adam Jones was the target of racial slurs at Fenway Park, the story resonated beyond sports, and required reporting that provided deeper context and meaning.
Philadelphia reporter Errin Whack has written previously about the intersection of sports, culture and race as a member of AP's Race & Ethnicity reporting team. She was tasked with explaining why Boston is perceived, particularly among blacks, as a racist sports town – a perception that also is challenged by many others as unfair and outdated. She had to figure out a way to plainly and objectively lay out for readers where this perception came from, and the lasting effect it has on both the city and its sports teams.
And she had to get this done on a tight deadline. For her timely, layered look at this racially-charged issue, Whack receives this week's Best of States award.