Last Friday, Boston Dirt Dogs ran a headline “Welcome Back Tito” and under the headline was a black and white photo, presumably from the 1950′s, of a black man surrounded by a mob of white men, one of whom was kicking him in the chest. Underneath the photo was the caption “Philly Fans Greet Francona as He Returns Home”. The photo was only up for a short time before it was yanked, and then later on that night the following statement was issued on the site by Boston.com management:
Note to users: Earlier today, Boston Dirt Dogs used a photo on this page that was offensive and inappropriate. There was no malicious intent behind the posting. We removed the photo immediately, and we apologize to any users who saw it during the brief time it was on the site.
I also received copies of emails from several readers who had written in to the Boston.com general manager to protest the use of the photo, and they all received the exact same response, which was very similar to the above statement. The story was significant enough to be mentioned on the FOX25 newscast that night.
(above, the new illustration as it appears on the Dirt Dogs front page).