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#pounditFriday, July 12, 2024

Reggie Jackson opens up about the racism he faced in minor leagues

Hall of Fame outfielder Reggie Jackson on Thursday opened up about the discrimination he faced while playing in the minor leagues for the Birmingham, Ala. in 1967

Jackson was a special guest panelist during MLB’s Negro Leagues tribute game between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Ala.

Alex Rodriguez asked Jackson how he felt about returning to Rickwood Field, the former home of the Negro Leagues’ Birmingham Black Barons. Jackson, whose MLB career spanned from 1967 to 1987, began the 1967 season playing for the Double-A Birmingham A’s, whose home games were at Rickwood Field. That was just three years after the 1964 Civil Rights Act ended segregation.

Jackson shared some harrowing details on his experience as a black player at the time.

“Coming back here is not easy,” Jackson told Rodriguez. “The racism that I faced here when I played here, the difficulty of going through different places where we traveled. … I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. … I would never want to do it again. I walked into restaurants and they would point at me and say, ‘the n—-r can’t eat here.’ I would walk into a hotel and they would say, ‘the n—-r can’t stay here.'”

Though we edited it out in the quotation, Jackson said the N-word in the video seen here.

Jackson expressed gratitude toward his former manger John McNamara and teammates Rollie Fingers, Dave Duncan, and Joe Rudi. Jackson credited them for helping ease the burden he faced early in his MLB journey.

Jackson was a 5-time World Series winner, 1-time MVP, and 14-time All-Star across 21 seasons in the majors.


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