Posts Tagged ‘branch rickey’

Race Matters, Part 2: Baseball, Obama and a Better America

March 21, 2008


“Ethnic prejudice has no place in sports, and baseball must recognize that truth if it is to maintain stature as a national game.”– Branch Rickey

When Branch Rickey brought Jackie Robinson to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947—effectively breaking the segregation color barrier that kept blacks from playing Major League Baseball—he knew it would not be easy. At the time there was tremendous opposition to a black player in MLB, and it was a widely held belief on the part of many Americans that colored players simply could not compete on the same level as white players. Rickey felt otherwise, but at the same time he knew there was a lot resting on both his shoulders, and even more on the shoulders of Robinson. Rickey told him, “Jackie, we’ve got no army. There’s virtually nobody on our side. No owners, no umpires, very few newspapermen. And I’m afraid that many fans will be hostile. We’ll be in a tough position. We can win only if we can convince the world that I’m doing this because you’re a great ballplayer, a fine gentleman.” (more…)