[Marxism] Fwd: How politics played a major role in the signing of Jackie Robinson

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Apr 17 06:25:10 MDT 2016

The Communist newspaper The Daily Worker, which was published in New 
York City, began campaigning for integration in baseball shortly after 
Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. 
Sportswriters for The Daily Worker, including sports editor Lester 
Rodney, compared the racism in Nazi Germany to the racism in the United 

During the next decade, the newspaper published hundreds of columns and 
articles calling for the desegregation of baseball. Its sportswriters 
excoriated the baseball establishment for perpetuating the color ban and 
pressured major league owners to give tryouts to black ballplayers.

At the same time, labor unions organized picket lines and petition 
drives outside major league ballparks, collecting more than a million 
signatures. In July 1940, the Trade Union Athletic Association organized 
an “End Jim Crow in Baseball” demonstration at the New York World’s Fair.


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