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Davis: Important to remember black history

Red Sox hitting coach grateful that Robinson, Doby paved the way for him, others
Special to MLB.com

Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis, on why it is important we recognize Black History Month:

It is very important we recognize Black History Month. When you think about how the black race arrived in the United States of America and what they've been through and where we are now in society, we've come a long way. There's a lot of history and a lot of people that allowed us to be where we are now, both black and white. People that stood up for certain rights and were not willing to back down, some of them even gave their lives to have the rights that we have right now.

Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis, on why it is important we recognize Black History Month:

It is very important we recognize Black History Month. When you think about how the black race arrived in the United States of America and what they've been through and where we are now in society, we've come a long way. There's a lot of history and a lot of people that allowed us to be where we are now, both black and white. People that stood up for certain rights and were not willing to back down, some of them even gave their lives to have the rights that we have right now.

This culture has come so far, and if you allow it to go through a generation and not be recognized, then there's a risk of it continually not being recognized. You talk about the history part of it -- history is so important, because it's going to tell us where we came from and how we get here and the direction we have to continue going in.

It's similar to being with the Boston Red Sox and learning the history of this organization and what people have done in the past for this organization to allow the young players to be where they are, not just with the Boston Red Sox, but baseball in general.

A lot of people gave up a lot for me to be able to be a hitting coach for the Boston Red Sox, or to be able to live in certain neighborhoods or just to have the opportunity that I have now, or any black person. You can't walk around and just think this was a given, or that I did this or just that, and to understand that for you to be able to do any of these things and achieve the things you've achieved, a lot of people have sacrificed in the past -- way back in the past.

Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby, they could have been selfish enough to look at it as their opportunity, but they didn't. They realized that how they handled being the first was going to affect whether or not that opportunity was going to be given to the next generation and the generation after that. They had to take a lot of heat. Could I have been a Jackie Robinson? I don't know. You lash back and fight back and show something that society was expecting of you, you'd screw it all up for everyone else. They maintained the focus to know it wasn't just about them.

 

Boston Red Sox