In his updated account of today's big Spring Training matchup between Tampa and Baltimore, Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times noted that Rays Manager Joe Maddon "had a fan - who was in in Orioles jersey - removed from the stadium after he was making racist comments about B.J. Upton."
There aren't more details since that 4:18 p.m. update, but this isn't the first time Upton and race have been mentioned in the same breath. From DRaysBay.com:
Emotions run high when talking about Upton and there have been discussions here and elsewhere about how some of the anger directed at him might be influenced by racism. Whenever you mention this, though, the discussion immediately becomes polarized and futile. You're saying I hate Upton because I'm a racist? Have you not watched the man play?!!? The discussion becomes black and white (horrible pun, I know), when the real discussion is much more nuanced.
No one is saying that race is the reason people dislike Upton. Obviously there are many reasons why, which we've already listed. My point is that his skin color, whether we realize it or not, influences how we view him.
And from Beyond the Boxscore:
Last Sunday, Evan Longoria and B.J Upton got into an argument over B.J. taking his time chasing down a ball hit to the wall. This confrontation may seem like a small spat between teammates, but may have an unseen racial impact with people that saw it.
Spring game report: Rays vs. O's (9-8 loss) [The Heater]
It's Complicated: BJ Upton and Race [DRaysBay.com]
Racism, Baseball and Unconscious Thought [Beyond the Boxscore]