Dave Roberts Leads Dodgers To Jackie Robinson Statue For Jackie Robinson Day Meeting

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

Last season manager Dave Roberts began a Los Angeles Dodgers tradition of gathering the team, front office members and other personnel in front of the Jackie Robinson statue in the center field plaza of Dodger Stadium to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day.

Roberts led another contingent on Friday for the 75th anniversary of the Dodgers icon breaking the color barrier. He and the Dodgers were joined by Jackie’s son, David Robinson, and Jackie Robinson Foundation scholars part of the group as well.

Roberts briefly addressed the group before turning the floor over to David. He highlighted Jackie’s plight and everlasting legacy, while also calling for continued work toward reaching equality.

“It is a time to celebrate; we had victories in the ’40s, the ’50s and the ’60s. And it is also a time to absolutely acknowledge we have huge issues and gaps in income and equality in America that have to be addressed,” David said after addressing the Dodgers.

“The African-American population is no better secure in its survival or development than it was in the ’50s. I don’t know if we have many plans as an African-American community, but we need to unify so that we have one plan for our branch of the African family. That should include an international dynamic. Everybody else is international, and if we think we’re going to be able to survive without that international component, I have my concerns.

“So it’s a great day. Great to be here. The Dodgers have extended the meaning of baseball. The Dodgers then and the Dodgers now continue to champion, but African-American community needs to come up with its plan and sports players are stepping up to be more than the athlete. They’re representing human values, human concerns and continuing to change the attitudes, beliefs and thoughts of the American public. So, stay the course, but enhance the plan.”

Roberts growing voice on Jackie Robinson Day

As the first Black manager in Dodgers franchise history, and just one of three to win a World Series with the team, Roberts has steadily grown more comfortable using his platform.

“I think it’s not something that I signed up to have a platform to speak about things outside of baseball, but I think as all things evolve, I’ve just seen more and more that people who have platforms aren’t speaking about the right things and there’s way too much negativity and speaking about the wrong things,” Roberts explained.

“So I felt that if I have an opportunity or platform to speak about things that I believe in, that are right and treating people fairly, then why wouldn’t I take advantage of that? Because I do encourage my players to speak up about things they believe in. So I have to stay true to my words and advice to them as well.”

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