Friday, April 12, 2013

The Pain of 42, Part 2

From "The Jackie Robinson You Won't See in '42' " by David L. Robb at The Wrap:

On the field, Robinson made history when he broke baseball’s color barrier, but off the field he often found himself on the wrong side of history.

His was, in fact, a life filled with regret.

Robinson backed the wrong horse in the 1960 presidential election, campaigning for Richard Nixon against John F. Kennedy – a decision he would later come to regret.

A staunch defender of the war in Vietnam, Robinson went so far as to challenge the patriotism of Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali when they came out against the war. This too, he would later regret, when his own son, Jackie Jr., returned a wrecked man and addicted to heroin after a tour of duty in Vietnam.

Jackie Robinson opened the door to hundreds of African American baseball players, but he betrayed the man who opened the door for him – Paul Robeson, the great American actor, athlete and activist. In 1949, Jackie denounced Robeson before the now-discredited House Un-American Activities Committee, on which his future friend, Richard Nixon, sat as a second-term congressman.

It's been said a person hasn't lived a full life without having regrets, and it seems Robinson had a few. (Somehow I don't think we'll see them in the movie.) Fortunately, Robinson's legacy has weathered these missteps. Enjoy the movie!