RISE, DETROIT TIGERS, HOST CRITICAL CONVERSATION ON LEGACY OF JACKIE ROBINSON
April 15, 2021
On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier when he stepped onto the field with the Brooklyn Dodgers for the first time. Commemorating the anniversary of that historic occasion, Robinson is celebrated across Major League Baseball each year as the sports community reflects on the impact he had on baseball, sports and our country.
This season, RISE partnered with the Detroit Tigers to host a RISE Critical Conversation on Robinson's legacy and how we can build upon it by using sports to advance racial equity, social justice and civic engagement.
RISE CEO Diahann Billings-Burford moderates the conversation featuring Tigers Bench Coach George Lombard, infielder Niko Goodrum and pitcher Matthew Boyd. They discuss lessons learned from Robinson's life and the values he espoused, and cover an array of subjects such as their own experiences with racism and encouraging civic engagement in light of MLB's decision to move the 2021 All-Star game out of Atlanta because of new restrictive voting laws in Georgia. High school students from across Southeast Michigan also pose questions to the panelists about carrying on Robinson's legacy as a leader, pioneer and advocate for racial justice.
"When we think about making a difference … the importance you have on others' lives, that's what Jackie stood for," Lombard said. "He wasn't just talking about it. He lived his life like that."