We're lucky to live in a multicultural world where we can watch a wide range of sports and see amazing performances by athletes of every race. Things weren't always like this. In the past,was and sports .
Take the example of baseball. For many years, blacks and whites in the United States weren't allowed to play together. Major League Baseball was for white players only. This all changed in 1947 thanks to Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson.
Branch Rickey was the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was impressed by the talent of black players and angry at thethey faced. He baseball so that blacks and whites could play together .
To do this, he needed a black athlete who was an excellent ball player. Finally, hisfound the perfect — a young man named Jackie Robinson.
Robinson grew up in California. His dream was to play professional baseball in the major leagues. There was just one problem — he was black.
Rickey warned Robinson about the hate he would face as the first black player in an all-white league. Jackie would have tothis racism by playing the best baseball he could — not by getting angry, or giving up.
Soon after, Rickey announced that Robinson — the first black player in the MLB — would join the Brooklyn Dodgers for the 1947 season.
Jackie's first year was hard. Some of his teammates threatened to quit. Rival clubs refused to play against a black player. Racist spectatorsand shouted . He received hate mail and .
Despite this harassment, no one couldthat Robinson was a great player. He , incredible and . At the end of the 1947 season, he rookie of the year. In 1949, he was voted .
Jackie Robinson played in the major leagues until 1958. After retiring, he spent the rest of his liferacial equality. He in 1972 at the age of 53.
In 2013, his story was made into a Hollywood movie called. That was the number on his uniform. His life is remembered each year on Jackie Robinson Day, a national event celebrated on April 15.
Theof American baseball because of the actions of two men — one white and one black. This year marks the 70th anniversary of this historic event.
By working together to break the, Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson opened the door to great players of all races. Through their actions, they helped to create the modern world of professional sports, where athletes are judged by their ability and not by the color of their skin.
The Japan Times ST: July 14, 2017