Robinson’s Impact Was Immeasurable


Sometimes even though of us who love sports and work in sports, can get frustrated with the way sports is headed.

Look around. There are a lot of things wrong in sports. Salaries are ridiculously out of line in pro sports. As a result, no one can really afford to go to a game anymore. In college athletics, conference re-alignment is a geographical nightmare. 

However, there are times when sports does what it is supposed to do and that is to have a positive impact on society through competition.

Sixty-five years ago this past weekend, sports did just that when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in major league baseball.  Think about that. It was 1947. 

I was not around in the a40’s, but I remember the 60’s well. I went to school in McDowell County when the schools were segregated. I remember when integration took place and some of the awful comments I heard. That was in 1965. Can you imagine what it was like in 1947 for Jackie Robinson? 

You can take all of the landmark court cases in our nation’s history that have impacted racials issues. None of them did more for race relations in our country than when Jackie Robinson began playing major league baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The stress of what Robinson went through put him in an early grave. He died as a young man at the age of 53. He was one of the most important Americans in history. No other athete really can say that. His foundation established by his widow, Rachel, still impacts the lives of young people today.

Jackie Robinson changed more than baseball. He changed many national perceptions on racial ignorance in this country. The day that he broke baseball’s color barrier was the finest hour for sports history in our country. That moment impacted our lives for the good. I would like to think that is what sports is supposed to do.


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