Canadian Baseball Championship: Quebecers Victims of Racism

The Chef de Mission of the Quebec team who participated last week at the Canadian Baseball Championships in Miramichi, New Brunswick, warns that his players will not participate in any other tournament if Baseball Canada does not adequately deal with incidents racist character that would have occurred on Sunday.
S elon Daniel Bélisle, a handful of drunken fans repeatedly pitched the word “negro” to a dark-skinned Quebec team player and told him to “return to his box of colors” throughout the match. semifinal and then the final for the bronze medal on Sunday.

Mr. Bélisle, who is president of the Quebec Major League Baseball League, also claims that one of his colleagues was attacked while attempting to leave the baseball field. Jean Simard, deputy chief of mission, wearing a cap in the colors of the Quebec team, was hit on the shoulder; according to Mr. Bélisle, he still had sore arm on Thursday.

“We are shocked,” Bélisle said in a telephone interview. “But what we want is for things to change.” He has filed a formal complaint with Baseball Canada, but so far he has only received an email from a representative who has left on his hunger.

André Lachance, Director of Business, Sport Development and Baseball Canada’s National Women’s Team, writes in this email from La Presse canadienne that his organization has “done the necessary checks” with his local representative in Miramichi, Gerry The White. He contends that this representative and the organizing committee “seem to have done what was necessary to solve the problem on the spot”.

“I understand that this kind of behavior is unacceptable in any sporting event. Unfortunately, it still happens in 2019, “concludes Mr. Lachance. “I’m sorry about the situation.”

“Al Qaeda Terrorist”

Daniel Bélisle maintains that three men, aged around thirty, already seemed drunk at 13h for the semifinal match that was held Sunday. The same three spectators continued to drink all afternoon and were even more drunk at 4:30 pm in the bronze medal game, he said.

The men, sitting close to the shelter of Quebec players, would have insulted all members of the team, but in particular the starting pitcher, Fernando Fernandez, who has dark skin. According to Mr. Bélisle, these spectators also called a “bearded al-Qaeda terrorist”. All the while, the spectators around the three men laughed and encouraged them, says Mr. Bélisle.

At the request of Mr. Bélisle, a representative of Baseball Canada and an organizer of the Miramichi tournament approached the three men to ask them to stop, but they waited a few minutes before continuing their unending rage throughout the day, said Mr. Bélisle. “They should have been expelled immediately,” he said. However, Mr. Bélisle did not see any security guards on site during these games.

In an interview Thursday, André Lachance explained that the email sent to Mr. Bélisle Wednesday was only preliminary. “We are trying to gather all the necessary information to be able to answer,” he said. “We do not take it lightly.”

To call the police?

Mr. Lachance says Baseball Canada does not have rules on how tournament organizers should react to unruly spectators. He also claims that he did not know if there were security guards during the weekend games in Miramichi. “If something happens, the organizing committee can always call the police,” he said.

The 2019 Men’s National Championships were hosted by the local Chatham Miramichi Ironmen team, Lachance said. Attempts to reach a representative of the team were unsuccessful.

Mr. Lachance argued that Baseball Canada would continue to investigate what had happened to see if the organization could do more to combat these incidents in the stands.

According to Mr. Bélisle, Baseball Canada should ask the teams to broadcast a recorded message before every game, to remind the spectators to behave properly – as does the Quebec Major League Baseball League before all games played in the nine cities, he says. He also believes that Baseball Canada should require security guards to be on site.

“I’m going to give them a plan,” said Bélisle. “We want action. If they do not do anything, we will stay home, that’s for sure. “

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