Giants reliever Jay Jackson had a tough night on the bump Monday in Arizona, surrendering three runs (two of them coming across on Christian Walker’s seventh-inning double to left field) while recording his second blown save of the season. While Jackson’s shaky performance didn’t prove costly—San Francisco would ultimately come back to win in extra innings—that didn’t stop fans from harassing the veteran right-hander on social media. Jackson shared a few particularly abhorrent messages he received on Instagram Monday night, many of them peppered with racial slurs (NOTE: the following tweets contain offensive language).
“You’re right, I had a bad game,” said Jackson, choosing to take the high road. “No one is more pissed for making the team work harder than me. But we won. The boys picked me up.”
Appalled by the disgusting racism and hate aimed at Jackson, many voiced their support for the 33-year-old including former Marlins ace Dontrelle Willis, who said he experienced similar abuse throughout his nine-year MLB career.
It’s shameful black athletes are still being subject to this kind of intolerance in 2021, but here we are. The advent of social media, though positive in certain respects, has allowed fans (many of them cowards hiding behind "burner" accounts) quicker and more direct access to athletes than ever before, and this toxic behavior can often be the result. Fans have a right to be frustrated when a player performs poorly, but that’s no excuse to threaten or dehumanize them with vile language and racist hate.
Overwhelmed by the encouragement he received from the baseball community, Jackson thanked fans for having his back. Jackson and the first-place Giants will take a three-game winning streak into Tuesday night’s clash with the Diamondbacks at Chase Field.