Jackie Robinson Essay

1365 words - 5 pages

Jackie Robinson, the first African-American in Baseball, changed the face of sports for ever. Not only was he an outstanding athlete, but with the help of Branch Ricky, they worked for reforms in the sports community. There was work required, though, since many sacrifices were made. The face of not only segregation, but the face of sports was on his shoulders. Through his unique form of, Jackie Robinson was one of the greatest driving forces behind equality and helps to equalize many things most people took and still take for granted. Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born in January 31, 1919 in the town of Cairo, Georgia. Jackie, as most people called him, was stared in many sports through both High School and College. He stared in Baseball, Football, Track, and Basketball. He had many accomplishments, but one that stands out in his college years was when alongside Kenny Washington almost took UCLA to the Rose Bowl ("Jackie Robinson" 1). When Jackie's athletic eligibility ended he left UCLA and got a job with the National Youth Administration. While there he played football with the Honolulu Bears.When World War 2 broke out, the Army's Officers Candidate School accepted Jackie and became a second lieutenant. While stationed at Fort Riley in Kansas, Jackie was not allowed to play Baseball or Football ("Jackie Robinson" 1). Jackie, however, tried to play both Baseball and Football while stationed. When the Football team formed he was ordered to go home on leave. Then he was told to try out for the nonwhite baseball team, which he later discovered didn't exist. He was then sent Fort Hood. After a good deal of time, Jackie was court-martialed for breaking Jim Crow status. Although it he was found innocent, he was discharged on medical grounds, and was given an honorable discharge ("Robinson, Jackie" 1). In 1945 Robinson signed a contract with the Kanas City Monarchs of the NAL (Negro American League) for four-hundred and fifty dollars a month ("Jackie Robinson" 1). Attention was brought to Jackie because of his great play. Branch Ricky, Brooklyn's General Manager, picked him as the most likely to overcome racism in sports ("Robinson, Jackie" 1). In April 1945, ironically Jackie heard from the Boston Red Sox, who were the last to integrate the two leagues. On August 27, 1945 Robinson was brought to the Dodgers Office at 215 Montague Street. Jackie thought he was there for the Brown Dodgers, but on the contrary he was there to sign with the Montreal Royals. Ricky was really sure of Jackie but he wanted to see how he would put up with the pressure and abuse ("Jackie Robinson" 1). To test him, Ricky put him through several situations. One involved a white player hurling offensive racial slurs at Jackie and then punched him in the face."Rickey took a mock swing at Robinson, and hollered, 'What do you do know, Jackie? What do you do now?' Robinson replied, 'I get it, Mr. Rickey. I've got another cheek. I turn the other cheek'"...

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