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Jackie Robinson’s Daughter Thinks He Would’ve Supported Kaepernick

Sharon Robinson believed her dad would have defended Kap’s kneeling protest.

Jackie Robinson, EBONY Magazine
Jackie Robinson on the cover of EBONY Magazine (June 1948)

Jackie Robinson would have been 100 years old on Jan. 31. His daughter, Sharon, spoke to The Undefeated about her father’s iconic legacy and how he would react to today’s sports activism.

“The fact that it’s his 100th birthday and we’re even talking about him is amazing,” she told the ESPN-owned website. “It means that after all of his work, all of the sacrifice, the joys and the hard times, he is still having an impact. That is pretty incredible.”

Robinson made history as the first African-American to play in the MLB with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. He used his platform to fight social injustice.

In 1968, he supported sprinters and medal winners Tommie Smith and John Carlos after they raised the Black power salute in silent protest on the victory podium at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

Sharon is aware that her father’s life is proof of the power in protesting and embracing the fight for equality. Because of that, she believes he would have supported former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose kneeling protest during the national anthem ceremony beginning in 2016 caused him to be exiled from the league.

“I think he would be very supportive of activism of the athletes because that’s what he was looking for when he was traveling with the Civil Rights Movement,” she said. “He tried to get other athletes to come with him. It was only the boxers who would come.” 

According to Robinson’s daughter, “He was always disappointed that more athletes didn’t join him.”

To honor her father’s legacy, “It’s so crucial that as Americans we embrace the beauty in our diversity,” she told the publication.

She added, “I want us to meditate on the fact that the struggle continues for equality in this country. In my father’s era, it was a Black-and-White world. Today, it’s a global world.”

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