This week marks the 74th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's first game as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers. As a member would not only break the color barrier in baseball, but he would also shape the future of American sports. Not to mention, he became an MLB MVP and World Series Champion.
After delaying Jackie Robinson Day last season due to the pandemic, Major League Baseball was able to honor the historic moment on April 15-16 as previously scheduled. To honor Robinson's legacy, more than 100 players donated to the Players Alliance on April 15. Led by three-time MLB All-Star Curtis Granderson, the Players Alliance works to improve racial equity in baseball and American society. Last year, the organization raised $1 million on Jackie Robinson Day and they are hoping to do it even bigger this year. All donations will go toward the organization's "Breaking Barriers" campaign. As part of the campaign, the organization will help provide tuition for Jackie Robinson Foundation scholars during the 2021-2022 academic year.
“On April 15, we honor Jackie Robinson as the first player to break the color barrier, a reminder there is still much work to be done in our game,” Granderson said.
“As The Players Alliance seeks to bridge the gap of racial inequity in baseball, we’re encouraging players, on this date especially, to consider supporting the Alliance and our efforts to continue Jackie’s legacy of breaking barriers.”
Over the years, the Jackie Robinson Foundation has supported a number of familiar faces including Rep. Lauren Underwood, Black Panther producer Nate Moore and New York Giants Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham. Through these donations and the work of the foundation, another group of young, talented leaders will soon have the opportunity to pursue a college education.
"Our work is built upon the courage of one man. A man who chose to stand for equality, who chose to use his gifts to break barriers, and in doing so ignited a movement that inspired legends," the foundation tweeted.
Jackie Robinson Day festivities will extend into April 16. All teams that didn't play yesterday will wear the number 42 today in honor of the baseball legend.
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