Monday, August 8, 2022

ESPN to Celebrate 75th Anniversary Of Jackie Robinson Breaking Color Barrier

Jackie Robinson icon

*Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball on April 15, 1947, when he took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers. To commemorate the 75th anniversary of this moment, ESPN is dedicating programming to honor his legacy.

“It is a natural opportunity I believe to not only recognize his legacy but to educate those who may not be as familiar as they should be with the impact he had on our way of life,” David Roberts, ESPN’s head of NBA & studio production, tells The Hollywood Reporter.

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Here’s more from THR: 

Beginning April 4, ESPN will debut a short video story every day through April 15, featuring interviews with athletes and other public figures discussing the legacy of Jackie Robinson and his wife, Rachel Robinson, who has continued to carry the torch through the Jackie Robinson Foundation. The “Jackie to Me” video series will include interviews with Tim Anderson, Bobby Bradford, Ruby Bridges, Chuck D, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Billie Jean King, Willie O’Ree, Robinson’s son David, among others.

The videos will run on ESPN’s SportsCenter, Get Up and First Take programs and ESPN+.

On April 15, ESPN will broadcast a college baseball game between Stanford and Robinson’s alma mater UCLA at Jackie Robinson Stadium in Los Angeles. The network’s celebration of Robinson will wrap on July 26 with the opening of The Jackie Robinson Museum in New York City, per the report. 

“Hopefully people will get a clearer understanding of just how impactful Jackie Robinson was, and Rachel Robinson is to this day, and that they will be inspired to learn more about what he went through, and his contributions as a result of all the sacrifices he made, enduring blatant acts of racism that he was subjected to when he broke the color barrier,” Roberts says. “I know I wouldn’t be in the position I have if it wasn’t for Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier. And that applies to any African American, in any profession, up and to including the President of the United States.”

Roberts says Jackie’s widow “will also be a critical focal point not only in covering the legacy of her husband, but what Rachel Robinson has done to carry on his legacy is just spectacular.”

“I just cant think of enough adjectives to say how important she is to the fabric of America,” he added. 

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.




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