On Saturday, during a break in the White Sox-Twins game, the park’s big screen honored people from Chicago with three individuals on the screen that included “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak, legendary actor and director Orson Welles, and Emmett Till , the 14-year-old who was lynched on August 28, 1955. One Chicago White Sox official reportedly said it was “poor form” to show Emmett Till as one of the “famous people from Chicagoland.”
The Chicago Tribune reports, Scott Reifert, the White Sox’s vice president of communications, said he told the staffer who created the graphic shown during Saturday’s game that including Till “kind of minimalized [that this] is a young man who lost his life.”
He continued, “We talked about it. He regretted it. Certainly, he admitted it was a mistake. The intent certainly wasn’t to insult anybody, not Emmett Till by any means. It was, in a sense, famous Chicagoans.”
Reifert explaned it was “an honest mistake” and “there was no ill will meant by any of it.”
However, there won’t be a chance in protocol, “Obviously, lots of stuff goes on over the course of the season, so you’ve got to trust people to do their jobs. He did not intend that by any stretch of the imagination. He regretted it as soon as I pointed it out. He understood and apologized.”
Emmett Till was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered after Carolyn Bryant Donham accused him of whistling at her at the Bryant Grocery Store in Mississippi. Roy Bryant, Donham’s then-husband, and J. W. Milam kidnapped and brutally murdered Till. Mamie Till held an open-casket funeral for her son so that the world could see what the men had done to her boy. Donham has since admitted that she lied. She is reportedly 85 years old, has never paid for falsely accusing a child of a crime, which resulted in him being lynched.
In 2017, “The Blood of Emmett Till,” a book by Timothy Tyson, claims that Carolyn Bryant Donham admitted to lying about Till whistling at her, prompting a mob of White men to pursue and kill him in Money, Mississippi, at the height of Jim Crow laws in 1955.
“Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” Donham is quoted as saying in the book, writes the New York Daily News. At trial, Carolyn Bryant delivered the most explosive testimony, claiming that Till had grabbed and threatened her inside her husband’s store. “That part’s not true,” she says in Tyson’s book, according to Vanity Fair.
Donham only admitted her lie to a white author, Timothy Tyson, who has since put her testimony “under lock and key,” the Amsterdam News reports. Donham’s confession is under restriction until 2036.