I sat here staring at this blank screen trying to figure out how to put in words that which I find almost indescribable: The amount of respect I have for Jackie Robinson.
In a way, I always knew what an amazing human being he was, but seeing it portrayed on a movie screen in the new movie “42” brought it to a whole new level.
Now, I do not think that the movie itself was anything incredibly special. The life, which it was based on, though, certainly makes up for it.
Baseball is game predicated on failure and how well you can bounce back from that failure. The Hall of Fame is filled with players who have failed more than 70 times out of 100. Which means that baseball is already a daily test of your mental fortitude and how well you can control your mental stability.
Therefore, when Dodgers Owner Branch Rickey, (who is played fantastically by Harrison Ford), asked Jackie Robinson to become the first African American Major League Baseball player, he knew what Robinson and his family would have to go through…. Well, like many others, he thought he did.
That is the biggest thing I took away from the movie “42”: None of us will ever have any idea of what Jackie Robinson went through.
When I first walked out of the theatre, I was hoping to feel like I had a better understanding of the emotional torture the Robinson’s were forced to face. That was not at all the case.
That may have been for a purpose though.
See, there is no possible way to display the agony it must have been for Jackie to see his family threatened daily, while he could do nothing but turn the other cheek.
There is no way to experience how it felt to have the majority of the country waiting for him to do that one thing that would (somehow) “justify” their racism.
None of us have ever had to worry for our life, along with the lives of our family, every time we show up to work.
We will never comprehend.
Go see the movie, you will understand.
Jackie Robinson once said, “Above anything else, I hate to lose.” Yet Robinson still allowed himself to feel as if he was fighting a losing battle his entire career because he knew how important ii was…
…And by doing so Jackie Robinson won big.
Follow Cole Stevenson on twitter: @Cole_Stevenson