“As the stark racial minority in all aspects of our game, The Players Alliance has given a voice and platform to our Black players, unified in our stance against systemic racism,” said Curtis Granderson, former MLB player and President of The Players Alliance. “We stand together for what is right and to change our game for the better. The power of our player membership, including our non-Black teammates, coupled with the support of MLB and the Players Association, gives us the unique ability to create increased opportunities for the Black communities we care so much about” — Curtis Granderson.
MLBbro reporter Brandon Carr drops the facts about Jackie Robinson’s older brother Mack, an Olympic silver medalist who set a record in the 200M and raced against legendary Jesse Owens in 1936. We celebrate both groundbreaking brothers on the 75th anniversary of Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier.
Nike celebrates the silver anniversary of the Air Max Griffey 1 by honoring Jackie Robinson on Jackie Robinson Day.
After the release of the often-sought-after freshwater colorway last month, Nike pays homage to Jackie Robinson with the kids’ signature shoe. The Jackie Robinson-inspired pair features Robinson’s iconic number 42, replacing Griffeys’ 24 on the insole and across both ankle straps.
Accompanying the number swap will be one of Robinson’s famous quotes, “There’s not an American in this country free until every one of us is free,” that will appear across the ankle collar of the strap as well.
Robinson broke the color barrier on April 15, 1947, when he made his Major League Baseball debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers. After having his jersey retired in 1997, the MLB donned April 15 as Jackie Robinson Day across the league.
In 2007, it was Griffey who asked MLB if he could honor Jackie by wearing No, 42
April 15, 2007: Ken Griffey Jr. dons No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson after receiving consent from then-Commissioner Bud Selig and Robinson's widow, Rachel. Selig then encourages all players to join in the tribute. #Jackie42#RedsVault
With Griffey as the light that sparked the idea, in 2009, the MLB requested that all players and on-field personnel wear the iconic number 42 during games on Jackie Robinson Day.
Before having his number 42 retired by all 30 MLB franchises, Robinson achieved a Rookie of the Year, a World Series ring, six All-Star appearances, National League MVP, and a National League Batting championship, to name a few of his many accolades.
His most impactful award was forging a path for other players of color and becoming a prominent politician, activist, and leader of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Jackie was the first African-American to be VP of a major corporation (Choc Full O Nuts) and the first Black bank owner (Freedom National in Harlem in the 1960s). He was first in way more than just baseball.
Release day for the special edition colorway will be available April 24 via the SNKRS app and at select retailers for $170.
Robinson is the only player to have his number retired throughout an entire professional sporting league. Through donations, customized cleats, letters and shirts, the league and its players found many ways to honor the Brooklyn Dodgers Legend.
First, the Players Alliance which is a nonprofit organization funded by active and former players seeking to improve the representation of Black America in baseball, made a huge splash.
More than 230 members of the group including David Price, Mookie Betts, Jason Heyward, Marcus Semien and Jackie Bradley Jr. pledged to donate their full game day salary in support of the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
David Price, Jason Heyward, Jackie Bradley Jr. among more than 100 MLB Players donating game-day salary on Jackie Robinson Day to support the Players Alliance.
“What Jackie Robinson means to me…He is an inspiration whose life and works transcended far past just baseball. His sacrifices made this world a better place,” said Jackie Bradley Jr. when asked about Robinson’s impact.
The organization is also planning to make a financial commitment to the Jackie Robinson Foundation to support the launch of the Players Alliance and JRF Scholarship Fund, empowering students to receive scholarship money for Fall 2021.
Last season the group raised over $1 million on Jackie Robinson Day and the money was invested into Black communities.
The Players Alliance hooked each player up with “Breaking Barriers” Nike Warm-up shirts for batting practice. We also saw many players with customized “42” cleats such as Tim Anderson, Franciso Lindor and Alex Bregman.
Many players took the time to express what Jackie Robinson Day means to them.
“I just want to say thank you so much for everything that you have done for the sport, for people like me, people like you and for people around the world that would have had a very tough time trying to do what we are doing today in any sport. So I salute you,” said Miami Marlin’s second baseman Jazz Chisholm, who is the third Bahamian-born player to make the Major Leagues.
From San Diego Padres outfielder Tommy Pham: “Wearing 42 today is a step in the right direction. It signifies equality and it signifies meaning as a Black man in this game being able to live the childhood dream.”
The most rewarding part of Jackie Robinson Day is seeing all diversity at its best with players of all races honoring one of the most important Civil Rights legends this world has seen.
Jackie balled hard each time he laced his cleats up. He stayed committed and bravely fought through any and every adversity he faced.
The Universe is a crazy place, but seeing everyone come together on this special day to celebrate a common goal gives us hope in the race for equality.