The season-long, racist series of threats began with a late-night call to the office of then-team president/CEO, Lyle Bauer.
“I received a death threat via phone at the office one night,” Bauer said in an email exchange, Wednesday morning. “Obviously the caller didn’t think I would be in the office. He actually called me a ‘n—–‘ lover and that I would be killed for that.”
It was around 11 p.m., the racist probably thinking he’d get Bauer’s answering machine. He certainly wouldn’t have expected the reaction he got.
“I told the guy I was at the office by myself and would meet him at the front door,” Bauer recalled.
The perpetrator never showed up.
But soon letters did. Letters Jones has kept for 18 years, but hadn’t looked at for a long time, until he dug them out Wednesday morning.
“There were 12 of them in there that I had,” Jones, on the phone from his home in B.C., said. “It was tough. I had never been through anything like that before.”
The letters were sent to Jones through the Bombers. The gist of the message: Jones and his white wife deserved to die, because he was African-American.
“Bang – I hope someone shoots you,” Jones said, repeating one of the threats.
Police were so concerned officers were assigned to watch the Jones home when the Bombers played on the road.
“The police officers were very, very serious about it, and wanted to make sure the family was safe,” Jones said. “They made sure Justine was protected when I was gone.”
One of the more disturbing ones came soon after the couple welcomed their first child, daughter Jaelyn, into the world.
“When I came home for Jaelyn’s birth, he mentioned that,” Jones said. “He always signed his name the same, which was the wrong name.”
The one letter Jones chose to share is laced with racial slurs and derogatory terms for his wife and child.
It refers to a picture of him and Justine at a Special Olympics celebrity dinner, and closes with a stark warning: “Sooner or later Mr. Jones someone will get sick of your crap and shoot you.”
Police did what they could to track down the writer, but never did.
Another letter came after the Bombers lost the West Final in Edmonton.
It said they lost because they had a black quarterback.
Except it didn’t say “black,” but the ‘n—-‘ word. It was always the ‘n—–‘ word.
article posts the text of one of the letters Jones received.