Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The Pain of 42

Lest we get caught up in the rose-colored tint of celebrating Jackie Robinson's legacy, let's not forget how much the man sacrificed. Ron Rapoport, a former sportswriter for the LA Times, conducted one of the last, if not the last, interview with Robinson. From "He interviewed Jackie Robinson near the end" at LA Observed:

"I couldn't care less if someone is out there wearing 42," [Robinson] said. "It is an honor, but I get more of a thrill knowing there are people in baseball who believe in advancement based on ability. I'm more concerned about what I think about myself than what other people think. I think if you look back at why people think of me the way they do it's because white America doesn't like a black guy who stands up for what he believes. I don't feel baseball owes me a thing and I don't owe baseball a thing. I am glad I haven't had to go to baseball on my knees."

The whole article is worth a read, if just to contextualize the personal cost of advancing a country's consciousness.


Alex said...

What a badass, I'm glad it was our franchise that he broke in with.

I'm planning on being in the house next Monday to honor that great man, first trip out to the yard this year!!

Betsy said...

On Point (NPR) had a great podcast http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/04/08/jackie-robinson. We were 'fortunate' to be able to select which date the monster would be born - took a look at the schedule and elected today as a great day, will be celebrating at the stadium. woo hoo

Alex said...

Interesting listen thanks for posting, Betsy