People Still Don't Give Jackie Robinson His Respect After 75 Years

Major League Baseball team will wear the number 42 to mark 75 years since Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and integrated
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Photos: Twitter

This year, on April 15, every player on every Major League Baseball team will wear the number 42 to mark 75 years since Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and integrated professional sports.

Commentators will comment on his patience with white fans so filled with hate that they sent him death threats almost daily. People will talk about how he gave his fellow baseball players — who were suspicious of his presence — time to adjust to his being on the field.

They might even mention his years of service in the United States Army and his arrest by military police after he refused a white bus driver’s command for him to sit in the back of an unsegregated bus line set up by the military.

People will say all these things on Jackie Robinson Day in Major League Baseball — and they are all true. But what gets lost in all this talk about Robinson as a great civil rights figure is that he was also a great athlete.

In the late 1930s and early 1940s, while in college, Robinson was UCLA’s first four-sport varsity athlete — not the first Black one. The first — period. The man ran track and field, played football, basketball, and, of course, baseball. Seemingly, Robinson excelled in any sport that he played.

After leaving the military, he just focused on baseball and became a star. Read more.

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