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Coco Crisp experienced racial attacks from baseball fans

Former Indians outfielder once received a death threat
Updated: Apr. 13, 2021 at 1:51 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Coco Crisp has lived the beautiful life of being a major leaguer.

As Tito said on Monday, “he kinda brings a smile to everybody’s face.”

But Crisp has also seen the ugly side, the side that surfaces when a select few take the game, or a play, far too seriously and lash out in vile, racist fashion.

It happened to Yu Chang last night, after his throwing error in the 9th cost the Indians the game. Racist tweets followed, and Chang publicly called them out. But ... when will this end?

“There’s always going to be trolls out there, there’s always going to be bad people,” Crisp told me during a zoom interview. “As players, you just have to understand that that’s gonna be there, unfortunately, and hopefully society and the world becomes a better place, a nicer place to be.”

Crisp, recently named manager of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, began his career with the Indians in 2002, but it was with the Red Sox in 2008 that he experienced that level of hatred.

“There were letters sent to me, and one was pretty shocking, you know, to receive” Crisp said. “It was a little scary, so hopefully nobody should go through that.”

The letters followed a brawl with the Tampa Bay Rays, and Crisp says one included a death threat.

“You see it in the movies, when a villain sends a letter out, and it’s all different colors, individually cut out letters, like a real death threat type of letter,” Crisp said. “I received one of those.”

But it certainly didn’t diminish his passion for the game, or the vast majority of fans. And even in today’s climate, he sees growth, thanks to the many movements taking place.

“I think as people continue to speak out about their feelings and how it makes them feel, each generation that passes, we should be able to come together more as human beings, instead of seeing each other differently.”

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