With so many NBA and NFL players taking a stance against racism in the U.S., it’s hard to ignore the silence from the side of Major League Baseball.
In honor of Jackie Robinson Day (April 15), Sharon Robinson spoke at the MLB’s 71st-anniversary celebration of the year her father broke color barriers in baseball and says there’s a reason why today’s MLB players are not as outspoken as her father was. Sharon says black baseball players being outnumbered in the league makes it difficult for them to engage in protests.
“I don’t think they have much choice,” Robinson told the NY Daily News. “They are in the minority. In football and basketball where you have a group and you can take a group action. Baseball players, if they speak out individually, they could be the only African-American player on their team and it could be a difficult spot for them to be in.”
Active in the Civil Rights Movement, Jackie Robinson fought to desegregate baseball parks and continued to speak out against racism throughout his life.
Due to the lack of African American representation in Major League Baseball, Sharon Robinson says that players contribute to their fight against racism in different ways.
“Baseball players do that through their own charities or work within communities that they’re playing. They’re in a much more difficult position to do something collectively. They collectively acknowledge we need to put more effort into reaching kids with color, and at this point, that’s as collective as we’ll see from them.”