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Jackie Robinson paved way for Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods' niche as the pre-eminent golfer of our time is
unquestioned, but we should not forget who was instrumental in making it possible
to reach that plateau.
Yet, a university professor, recently cited in a journal, declared "...that the Jackie Robinson story has long served America as a deeply satisfying combination of entertainment and civic virtue that sidetracked a white America from the more weighty problem of racial tensions."
What then, are we to consider Jackie's ordeal as a reprise of the minstrel show, that his trial was a commendable but futile expression because it did not generate enough social protest?
In fact, his personal sacrifice became an indictment of the sacrosanct "One God under liberty and justice for all"; its virtue residing in the groundswell it provided for Martin Luther King Jr. and all those Americans who recognized Jackie's ordeal as inhuman.
The early history of baseball reflected a preference for names like Ty
Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Tris Speaker who could have raised beers in the
clubhouse without wondering when the next would trigger, "Hey, dago, you
It happened, I was there, reading employment agency ads: "Anglo-Saxons only need apply." Or the time I whacked a Home Relief functionary mimicking aged Italians' broken English while waiting for a gab of flour.
Tiger Woods fortunately was born too late for such patent abuse. Enough, though, that when he holds aloft the trophy for breaking Nicklaus' record for major victories, Tiger whispers, nay, purrs, "This one's for you, Jackie."
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