Jackie Robinson played an important role in the end of racial segregation in American sports. When he became the first black player to in the major baseball leagues by signing with Brooklyn Dodgers, he broke a very important, unwritten color barrier in the sports world. He was a brilliant player, and in the same year he earned the title of “Rookie of the Year.” Besides winning a National MVP award in 1949 and becoming a World Series champion in 1955, Robinson he inspired many other African-Americans not to accept the “seperate but equal” states and to embrace integration. More and more African American people were accepted into baseball and other sports after Robinson’s success.
When Branch Rickey offered Robinson the opportunity to join the Brooklyn Dodgers, he did so on one condition: that Robinson would not respond to the inevitable abuse he would encounter. He accepted and kept his promise, showing an air of dignity and courage when faced with racist jeers, death threats and hate mail. This earned him a lot of admiration from both blacks and whites, which was also a great example for the civil rights movement that was to follow in the sixties and was known for its non-violent protests.
Some Other Interesting Facts About Jackie Robinson:
- Jackie Robinson was named “Jack Roosevelt Robinson” after President Roosevelt
- Robinson was arrested in an unsegregated bus for refusing to sit at the back
- Robinson was in the military, but never went to WW2 due to his ongoing trial
- Robinson had three children, of whom his son, Jackie Jr. died in 1971
- Mark Robinson, Jackie’s older brother won a second place at the Berlin Olympics in the 100 meter race.
- Jackie Robinson also excelled in other sports – in basketball he led the Pacific Coast Conference, He was a broad jump NCAA champion and earned All-American status in football.
- Robinson played in the World Series six times but only won one
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