Peanuts thrown, racial slurs on repeat and displays of hatred is what Jackie Robinson had to endure through every baseball game. Jackie Robinson was discriminated against and hated at one point. Nowadays we see Jackie as this hero but back then he was a highly disliked person, due to the fact of his skin color. People were highly against him and saw him as someone who wanted to ruin their perfect society. The perfect society in their eyes was all caucasian and white people playing in all the major sport leagues. All just because he wanted to play baseball, expect he was African-American. Everyone needs to know about Jackie Robinson and his legacy as he is one of the most important and influential athletes in American history. Even with all of the hatred and discrimination Jackie Robinson fought to end racial discrimination in Major League Baseball and was an influential spokesperson in the Civil Rights Era.
Jim Crow laws were state and local regulated laws that enforced segregation. Though these laws may sound crude and inhumane they were the harsh realities of the 1930’s. African-Americans around the country were worried sick and lived in constant fear that they could be discriminated against at any time, just due to the color of their skin. Jim Crow laws became prevalent after a court case called Plessy v. Ferguson. Where the court ruled that it was legal to be separate but equal. Jackie Robinson was a highly acclaimed athlete, in college, while attending UCLA he received a letter in four different sports. The sports were, basketball, baseballs, football, and track and field. In 1942 Robinson was drafted into the military. In 1944 Robinson boarded an army bus with a fellow officer’s wife and refused to give his seat up for her. In 1945 Jackie accepted a contract to the negro leagues later moving into the majors.
Jackie Robinson, was playing in the Negro Baseball in 1945. He was playing for the Kansas City Monarchs in which he was playing pretty well. Robinson was not satisfied playing in these Negro Leagues, so he pursued the Major Leagues. The Boston Red Sox had a tryout for Jackie and various other African-American players, but it didn’t end well, leaving Robinson embarrassed. Ironically enough, the first Major League team to have tryouts for African-Americans were the last team to racially integrate. Branch Rickey the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers at the time, had showed interest in Jackie Robinson. Jackie signed to a $600 a month contract, proceeding to play in the minor leagues following the signing. Jackie was not only signed due to his good ball playing skills, but his charisma and ability to turn his cheek to the hatred. In the 1947 season, “Jackie Robinson, age 28, became the first African-American in Major League Baseball” (history.com). Jackie was called up to the Major Leagues. In his first game he was playing in front of 26,000 spectators and which 14,00 were African-American. Jackie brought in even more African-American spectator bringing the Major League more money and attention.
Jackie Robinson was not only an incredible athlete but also an influential representative. Jackie was an important spokesperson and key figure in the Civil Rights movement. Before Rosa Parks decided to not move to the back of the bus so a white person could sit, Jackie did it first. On July 6, 1944, “Lieutenant Jack Roosevelt (“Jackie”) Robinson also refused to move to the back of the bus, and he received a court martial.”. Jackie was asked to move for his fellow officer’s wife who was white and Jackie said no. This derailed Jackie’s military career and sparked ideas for civil rights leaders, such as Rosa Parks to reciprocate this action. Jackie campaigned for Richard Nixon in his presidential run in 1960. Once Robinson retired from, “baseball in 1957, Robinson devoted himself to the civil rights movement” (biography.com). He wanted to get equality for African-Americans and believed strongly in his own views. He wanted to change America’s mind on the topic. In 1957 Jackie did a fund raising drive with the NAACP, called The Fight for Freedom Fund. This program was intedend to fight to end racial segregation within ten years. Robinson would become a spokesperson, promoting this fundraiser, using his fame to promote it. Jackie participated in marches and protests with the group, eventually becoming a board member of the NAACP.
Jackie Robinson was not only an incredible athlete, but he was more than that. He paved the way for many sports athletes today by his tenacity. Jackie had brought an end to discrimination in Major League Baseball and he was a very influential figure in the civil rights era. Even though we already have memorials and special days in the Major Leagues for Robinson, we still need a day dedicated to the courageous man. A 42 day for Jackie, possibly April second hence 4/2. On 4/2 we should commemorate Jackie Robinson with a national holiday.
Article by Wyatt Couch
History.com Staff. “Jackie Robinson.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2009,
“Jackie Robinson.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 18 Jan. 2018,
“July 6, 1944 – Jackie Robinson Refuses to Move to the Back of the Bus.” Rhapsody in Books
Weblog, 10 June 2017, rhapsodyinbooks.wordpress.com/2009/07/06/july-6-1944-jackie-robinson-refuses-to-move-to-the-back-of-the-bus/.