Jackie Robinson: A Powerful Figure Essay

A renowned baseball player once said, “Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re just wasting your life”( BrainyQuote. com) He anticipated people to react to the world in 1940s and 1950s to show that places should be desegregated. He was trying to get the memo out that if African Americans, or any individual, who hoped-for places to be desegregated must start protesting now or nothing in society will transform and no one would feel equal.

He also wanted to support the dreams of African American athletes, to show them their aptitudes are not unexploited. By breaking the color barrier, creating the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and impacting the anti- racist struggle in the 1940s and 1950s, this influential figure, Jackie Robinson, has benefitted society in many ways. Jackie Robinson was a gifted baseball player who accomplished many things on and off the baseball field. Jackie was born January 31, 1919, and died October 24, 1972.

He was the first African American to break the color barrier in the MLB on April 15, 1947. He come to be the first African American to be chosen as the Rookie of the Year, the batting championship, and the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 1949, he also became one of the few to have his number retired from every team. Robinson was a spokesperson for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and he also made appearances with Martin Luther King Jr. after he retired in 195 (“Robinson”).

From all that Jackie Robinson did, many people recall that he did amazing things he did on the field. Jackie Robinson, a gifted baseball player, enormously impacted the lives of African American Athletes by breaking the color barrier. Jackie Robinson once stated, “A life is not important, except in the impact it has on other lives” (Schwartz). Jackie Robinson was a role model that impacted other African American athletes by displaying that they could play for an allwhite professional team.

This showed that people like Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks and Larry Doby could follow their dreams to play for a professional baseball team. Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play in the MLB; he made his debut on April 15, 1947, for the Brooklyn Dodgers where he played infield and outfield (“Robinson”). Jackie Robinson was an “experiment” for the Dodgers, Branch Rickey, the Dodgers manager, wanted to show the MLB that African Americans could play ball and keep calm while someone was being racist to them.

At a game in Louisville, Robinson was getting verbally abused by the Cardinal fans because they didn’t want an African American to play on their ball field, while this was happening Pee Wee Reese, the Dodgers shortstop and a native of Louisville, put his arm around Jackie to show he cared about Jackie (Schwartz). Pee Wee Reese’s actions showed that Jackie’s teammates did not notice him anymore as being “different” like they would call him. This showed other African Athletes that their teammates will do the same to them.

Jackie’s engagements impacted the lives of upcoming African American athletes since he was a test to see if he could keep calm while others were being racist. Not only did Robinson enormously impact the lives of other athletes, he also immeasurably impacted the anti-racist struggle in the 1940s and 1950s. Jackie’s triumph encouraged the integration of professional football, basketball, and tennis while the African leagues slowly lost the awareness of players, spectators, and reporters (History. om Staff). Robinson being the first African American athlete in the United States to perform on an all-white team directed the desegregation of other professional sports which made a vast impact on the antiracist struggle demonstrating that everyone is equal. Reverend Jesse Jackson once stated, “When Jackie took the field, something reminded us of our birthright to be free” (History. com Staff).

Reverend Jesse Jackson was trying to say that now many African Americans felt free when they saw Robinson playing ball in a once all-white league since many African Americans were used to not sharing anything with the white Americans, and this led to the Civil Rights Movement. Robinson’s debut for the Dodger’s came a year before President Harry Truman desegregated the Military and seven years before the Supreme Court ruled desegregation in public schools was unconstitutional (Schwartz).

Many people were paying attention to Jackie’s achievements and saw that he should not be the only African American that gets a once in a lifetime chance to be able to compete with white people, when Harry Truman desegregated the Military and when the supreme court desegregated schools people finally gave African Americans the chance that Jackie Robinson got. African Americans thought that Jackie Robinson was a brave man and they should follow him and speak up about their rights and what they deserve.

In addition to being a great player on the field, Jackie was a great person off the field as well by donating money to and speaking on occasion with Martin Luther King Junior at Civil Right Conventions. Jackie Robinson created the Jackie Robinson Foundation (IRF) for African Americans who could not afford college (“Robinson”). Jackie Robinson created the JRF to give chances, like the one he got, to African Americans who could not afford their children college.

After retiring from baseball in 1957, Robinson was a spokesperson for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People or (NAACP) (“Robinson”). Jackie Robinson made appearances for Martin Luther King Junior to make speeches about what happened to him during his life, he explained that if he would have given up or let all the immoral things people said to him. He would not be where he is in life as well as he would not have played baseball with the Dodgers.

Jackie Robinson led other baseball players to urge the MLB to use its economic power to desegregate southern towns, hotels, and other ballparks (History. com Staff). Jackie Robinson wanted other parks to be desegregated because many African Americans went to watch Jackie play, but they had to sit far away from the field and could not see him. Jackie also wanted hotels and southern towns to be desegregated because he and other African Americans were being neglected.

Jackie Robinson was an astonishing person on the field by trying to desegregate many places, creating the JRF and speaking for NAACP. Although, Jackie Robinson was a great ball player, he had a lot of ferocious outburst, and this could have ruined his baseball career. Robinson broke his emotional and political silence in 1949 becoming an opinionated and scandalous challenger of racial discrimination (History. com Staff). Jackie Robinson became angry with the MLB because of the slow desegregation of baseball; he became very outspoken about this.

A baseball reporter recounted, “He was an aggressive man, outraged at injustice, and quick to stand up for his rights” (Schwartz). Jackie Robinson always believed he was a free man and stood up for himself when he had to sit in the back of the army bus. He received an honorable discharge in the army. He also put up a fight for his rights. Many African American fans of Jackie Robinson once assumed, ‘When he felt an injustice, he spoke his mind. For this, some thought he was an ‘umpity nigger, Robinson said.

If a white player had shown the same fire, he would have earned praise, much like Pete Rose did” (Schwartz). Jackie always spoke his mind; many people thought he was rude to speak his mind even though if he was white people would have probably called him an image of Pete Rose. Even though Jackie had a lot of outburst he still was the first African American to achieve remarkable things on and off the field. All in all, Jackie Robinson, an influential figure, helped society in numerous ways.

Jackie benefitted society by breaking the color barrier, creating the JRF, and impacting the anti-racist struggle in the 1940s and 1950s. Jackie Robinson also paved a pathway for African American athletes by giving them the chance he got. He spoke out about the human rights he thought he should deserve, and by helping out families who could not pay for their kids schooling. To conclude, the well-known baseball player Jackie Robinson deserved to have his number retired from all the MLB teams, for all the things he have accomplished and for all the people he lend a hand to.