By Cedric Ceballos
In April the movie “42” was released, telling the life story of Jackie Robinson, the man who broke the color barrier in baseball when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Dodgers and Major League Baseball honored Mr. Robinson by wearing jerseys with only his number 42 on them –their names weren’t even included.
I have read books and articles, watched documentaries, listened to commentators and seen other movies depicting the life of Jackie Robinson. But this latest movie opened my eyes to what it was like in sports when he was living and the personal sacrifices he made for all of us who play professional sports today.
What resonates most strongly with me is the difference between what we do on and off the court today versus the sacrifices he made both on and off the court. What he experienced makes our difficulties seem insignificant in comparison.
First and foremost, I feel I need to apologize for any and everything I have done to hurt or compromise the integrity of the game, myself or others, including family, teammates and fans. When you watch this true account of Mr. Robinson’s experience, you begin to fully understand what he gave up, what he sacrificed to play the game he loved.
But you also get to realize that not everybody is foul, not everybody hates. And those who do hate initially have the ability to change for the better. Jackie Robinson was the first in many ways to bring about an understanding of positive change in the world. And the movie “42” reflects the fact that his life was about so much more than just sports. His life was a reflection of how the world should be.
No matter where we are in life, it is important to take the time to better understand each other and realize that what we do affects the lives of others. That helps us to define a clear purpose for our lives going forward, both within our immediate circle of influence as well as the world at large.
So thank you for your life’s legacy, for the sacrifices you made, Jackie Robinson. Thank you for showing us that we can stand up for what is right, that we can turn the other cheek and still be confident in who and what we are. We all have the potential to be #42.
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