In advance of the formal Jackie Robinson Day during the 2020 Regular Season, Major League Baseball and the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) today announced a partnership extension through 2023, which includes $3.5 million to support JRF’s Scholarship Program, the Jackie Robinson Museum and the annual JRF ROBIE Awards.
The majority of funding will benefit the Jackie Robinson Foundation’s Scholarship Program, which provides (a) four-year college scholarships to minority students selected from across the country each year based on academic achievement, leadership capacity and financial need, and (b) comprehensive support services, including career guidance, practical life skills training and job placement for JRF Scholars.
MLB’s funding will support 30 JRF Scholars from the 2020-2021 academic year through 2023-2024. Additionally, MLB and JRF will place a specific emphasis on offering JRF Scholars the opportunity to participate in an eight-week internship program at the Commissioner’s Office, with a minimum goal of three JRF Scholar internships per year.
Additional support will go toward the Jackie Robinson Museum in New York City, which will chronicle Robinson’s storied athletic career and his long-lasting impact across society both on-site (once the Museum opens) and virtually. To date, Major League Baseball has committed $2 million to the Museum.
- The themes and topics at the Museum will focus on all that derive from Robinson’s life and legacy. This includes his commitment to social and economic justice, his political activism, his athleticism and how he used his platform as a player to both bring about change through example and amplify his voice around the critical issues of his time. It will also highlight his entrepreneurism, journalism, corporate career, and military career. Central to Jackie’s work, which continues to be central to his wife Rachel’s life work through JRF and the Museum, are the issues of social justice, racial inequalities, and the need for first class citizenship for all.
MLB also will continue to sponsor the annual ROBIE Awards, which pays tribute to individuals who embrace the humanitarian ideals of Jackie Robinson while raising funds for the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said: “Our longstanding partnership with the Jackie Robinson Foundation has given us the opportunity to support more than 150 students, many of whom are on their way to becoming leaders of their respective industries. We welcome the newest class of JRF Scholars to this program as they take their first steps toward successful academic and professional careers. We are also thrilled to expand our contributions to the Jackie Robinson Museum. Jackie has inspired generations, including current players, to stand up for their beliefs and to speak out against injustice. This important aspect of his legacy will be remembered this year on Jackie Robinson Day.”
Jackie Robinson Day 2020 – August 28th
Jackie Robinson Day will be formally commemorated on Friday, August 28th and will focus on Robinson’s activism and impact on civil rights in society during and following his playing career. August 28th is the anniversary of the March On Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, which the Robinson family (Jackie, Rachel and children) attended. It is also the date in 1945 when Robinson and Branch Rickey met to discuss his future as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Customary to the annual in-season Jackie Robinson Day celebration, all players, managers, coaches, umpires and other on-field personnel will wear Jackie’s Number 42 to honor the historic significance in Jackie ushering in necessary changes to Major League Baseball by breaking the color barrier in 1947. Additional visibility of Jackie’s iconic “42” will include a commemorative sleeve patch for all on-field personnel, team color patch on New Era caps, Stance socks and base jewels. Traditionally, Jackie Robinson Day is celebrated on April 15th to mark the anniversary of Jackie’s MLB debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. On April 15, 2020, MLB and Clubs commemorated the 73rd anniversary of this historic moment with virtual activities on social media and online platforms.
MLB CLUB ACTIVITIES
MLB Clubs will host a series of activities to commemorate the day.
SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT
Throughout the day, MLB will feature custom, original Jackie-inspired content across MLB’s social media accounts (MLB, Cut4, PlayBall, MajorLeagueLife, MLBDevelops, LasMayores) that will focus on Jackie’s legacy as an outspoken advocate for civil rights and the pursuit of equality and justice. Content will also highlight on-field personnel donning #42. In addition, Jackie Robinson related graphics and custom content will be shared with players via MLB’s player social program. A special video, narrated by Dodgers star Mookie Betts and celebrates Jackie’s life and civil rights activism legacy away from the diamond, titled “4 Us 2 Remember,” is a central highlight of social activity on Jackie Robinson Day – watch “4 Us 2 Remember.”
JACKIE ROBINSON DAY ON MLB NETWORK:
Featured today across MLB Network’s studio programming will be a special MLB Network essay narrated by Jackie Robinson’s daughter Sharon Robinson, which you can watch here. Robinson speaks about her father’s legacy, the significance of today’s Jackie Robinson Day, and how Robinson would approach today’s civil unrest. In addition to the essay, three-time All-Star and President of The Players Alliance Curtis Granderson will discuss Robinson’s legacy in an exclusive interview with MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds today on MLB Tonight. MLB Network will pay tribute to Robinson throughout its two MLB Network Showcase game telecasts today featuring the doubleheader between the New York Mets and New York Yankees beginning at 4:00 p.m. EDT, called by Matt Vasgersian (play-by-play), Tom Verducci (game one analyst), Harold Reynolds (game two analyst) and Fran Charles (on-site reporter).