Race & Sports: Jackie Robinson

jackie_robinson_1949_bowman

The integration of professional sports started with one man, Jackie Robinson.

In honor of Black History Month, I wouldn’t be right if I didn’t honor the one man who changed the face of professional sports- Jackie Robinson. According to pbs.org, this all started in 1947.

Jackie was originally in the minor leagues until he was asked to move to the major leagues and play for the Brooklyn Dodgers. However, this was a time of segregation. Blacks had very limited rights as is, such as in restaurants, hotels, and other places. So him moving to the major leagues in America’s “favorite sport” at the time was something serious.

He received tons of backlash from name calling to injuries from others. You would think that one would give up, but he didn’t. And thanks to him, the sports world would never be the same. The article includes facts that his integration of baseball caused racial barriers everywhere to fall. Hotels integrated and Jim Crow’s influence steadily decreased. Today, as we all see, professional sports include all minorities. Due to this, athletes all over the world continue to honor and cherish his legacy.

“I speak to you only as an American who happens to be an American Negro and one who is proud of that heritage. We ask for nothing special. We ask only that we be permitted to compete on an even basis, and if we are not worthy, then the competition shall, per se, eliminate us.”-Jackie Robinson

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