There are numerous “firsts” within the lengthy historical past of African People on this nation. And with each, a brand new plateau of equality and acceptance was achieved. But it surely can be mentioned with out exception that every one got here at a worth for the courageous individuals who fought exhausting to enhance the lives of their individuals and obtain that nice breakthrough of their chosen area.
These rules are definitely true within the enviornment of sports activities and particularly baseball. Baseball has lengthy been thought of the good American pastime. So on April 15th, 1947 when Jackie Robinson walked out onto the sphere to be the primary black to shatter the colour barrier in skilled baseball in a sport between his staff, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Boston Braves, he was making a dramatic assertion.
However this was no day of parades and celebration for Robinson. As is the case in so many nice occasions in black historical past, that was time of super racism, prejudice and discrimination towards African People. Jackie Robinson was a unprecedented baseball participant. In his first 12 months alone he performed 151 video games, led the league in his base stealing means and was awarded with the primary rookie of the 12 months award ever given. Whereas Jackie performed with the Dodgers, they went to the World Collection six instances and he performed in six all star video games as properly. He was a stable performer and an amazing profit to his staff for which he received essentially the most useful participant award in 1949 and helped the Dodgers win the World Collection in 1955.
As is usually the case, it took some courageous management from supporters exterior of the African American group to see to it that prejudice wouldn’t preserve an excellent profession reminiscent of Jackie Robinsons from reaching its true potential. When a number of the Brooklyn Dodger gamers refused to sit down subsequent to Jackie Robinson and confirmed different hostile attitudes in the direction of him due to his race, administration stood agency that if they might not turn out to be a staff with all members of the membership, they had been welcome to go play baseball elsewhere.
However one of the vital emotional and coronary heart warming moments that has turn out to be a shining instance of the autumn of racial bigotry on this nation got here in a sport in Cincinnati Ohio in Robinson’s rookie 12 months. Because the followers on the sport started to heckle and shout racial slurs at Robinson, one among his fellow Dodger’s, Pee Wee Reese, took a stand to carry this sort of habits to a cease. His assertion that racism would not rule in baseball was easy and chic. As followers shouted their hateful remarks, Reese walked out on the sphere and put his arm round Jackie Robinson clearly speaking that this man was a teammate and a valued ball participant on that staff. The taunts ended abruptly and Reese and Robinson went on to do what they got here to that sport to do, play excellent baseball.
Jackie himself by no means made his baseball profession about race. He selected to exhibit dramatically what Dr. Martin Luther King later described when he mentioned that the day should come after we decide a person not by the colour of his pores and skin however by the content material of his character. Jackie Robinson made his stand for equality by displaying that on the coronary heart of his character was a superior baseball participant and a valued member of the baseball group.
Even when Robinson spoke of his days pioneering baseball for different African People, his phrases demonstrated that he solely wished the possibility to be examined pretty alongside facet all different athletes, no extra and no much less. His easy statements actually summarized a lot of what the civil rights motion was all about when he mentioned, „You may hate a person for a lot of causes, shade is just not one among them.” And later in his profession he acknowledged it once more superbly when he mentioned, „I am not involved along with your liking or disliking me… all I ask is that you just respect me as a human being.“
This emphasis on the person, on the standard of all males and all People and their proper to be judged for who they’re as individuals, not subjected to prejudice as African People is an ideal summation of the battle of African People all over the place.