BOSTON – To commemorate the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson playing his first major-league game and breaking baseball’s color barrier, players throughout baseball will wear his No. 42 today.
Red Sox manager John Farrell was asked to reflect on Robinson’s legacy.
“The one thing that we always look to establish here is an accepting environment,” Farrell said. “Baseball to me, without getting so philosophical, this is something that is -- I don’t want to say a ‘testing ground’ -- but it reflects society in so many ways, whether it’s a color barrier being broken down [or something else]. In our clubhouse we’ve got six or seven countries represented and you come together as a group of 25. You look to not only coexist but accept the individuality of every player that’s in there. And certainly the Robinson family and Jackie, he himself, maybe one of the most significant situations in our country’s history. Breaking down segregation to the point of inclusion, I think that continues to happen in the game today.”
Asked if he thought baseball would accept an openly gay player, Farrell replied:
“I think that goes back to creating an environment that’s accepting. And there’s going to be people from all walks of life and we respect the rights of every individual who walks through our clubhouse. The most important thing is that that respect is mutual and we work towards a common goal. And our goal is fully stated and that’s to win a World Series.”