Athletes as Agents of Change
Beyond the lines on the field and the court, sports transcend the game itself. Is it that athletes possess another gear (or 2)? Is it because of the dream and the belief that you can do it? Is it the refusal to quit? All of these factors have contributed to how athletes and sports have the ability to impact well beyond the game.
Today as we try to better understand inequalities and systemic racism we often shine the spotlight on athletes whether they're comfortable talking about their experiences or not? Some recognize their unique opportunity to use their platform to try to create change and understanding and embrace it, while others are not comfortable sharing their stories. Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby are great examples of this. Robinson carried the weight of a nation on his shoulders when he stepped on the field for the Dodgers. Doby crossed the same color line less than 3 months later and avoided the spotlight and the press as best he could. He wasn't comfortable in that role. He just wanted to play the game he loved. Each man made an indelible impact.
This is why The Other Boys of Summer is so compelling. In the 1930's, 40's and 50's the men, and women, of the Negro Leagues competed in a league of their own due to the exclusion from what was considered professional baseball. This exclusion created one of the most inclusive entities in America. Businesses flourished and people had the chance to pursue their dreams. It wasn't easy, but through perseverance and tenacity they triumphed. We can look through the lens of America's Pastime and the stories of these unsung heroes and to gain perspective and hope as we navigate today's world.
We'd love to bring our program to your group/organization/community. Watch the film and engage in powerful and courageous conversation. We want to be an ally and part of your journey to create a better community. Drop us a note at TheOtherBoysofSummer@gmail.com for info.