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Bo, Aretha to be honored at Civil Rights Game

There are awards for accomplishment, and then there are awards for making the right choices. The Major League Baseball Beacon Awards are designed to go to people who have already been honored yet they continue to do the right thing.

To help celebrate the 2013 Civil Rights Game, which will be played at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago by the White Sox and Rangers on Aug. 24 and televised nationally on MLB Network at 6:10 p.m. CT, Bo Jackson will receive the MLB Beacon Awards at a luncheon that day and will be recognized in a pregame ceremony on the field.

Aretha Franklin, the other Beacon Award winner, will not be able to attend because of health reasons. She will receive the award at a later date.

"The MLB Beacon Awards offer a positive reminder that there are individuals who use their celebrity and fame to make a positive difference in our society," said Frank Robinson, MLB executive vice president of baseball development. "Major League Baseball is honored to bestow this special recognition on Bo Jackson and Aretha Franklin and to have them be a part of our weekend activities surrounding the Civil Rights Game."

Franklin, 71, performed her inspiring music throughout the civil rights movement in support of family friend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Her chart-topping version of "Respect" helped promote equality and aided in her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the first woman to ever do so.

Jackson, 50, still stands as the only athlete in history to be recognized as an All-Star in two professional sports, accomplishing the feat as a running back with the Raiders and a power-hitting outfielder with the Royals. Jackson has also raised more than $600,000 for recovery needs for tornado victims in Alabama, where he hosts his annual charity event, "Bo Bikes Bama."

During the luncheon, platinum-selling recording artist Charice, who had a recurring role on "Glee," will perform.

This year marks the seventh installment of the Civil Rights Game.

Jason Mastrodonato is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @jmastrodonato.
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