During the dark days of segregation in America, black ball players were not welcome to play with their white counterparts, leading to the birth of the Negro Baseball Leagues. Black and white baseball fans sat separately in the stands, partitioned by chicken wire. These divisions, on and off the field, were symbolic of the racial divide in our country.
Before Brown v. Board of Education, before Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, before the marches of the 1960’s and the Civil Rights Act, baseball set an example for our country when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, stepping onto the field as a Brooklyn Dodgers. Our nation was broken, and baseball set an example to begin to heal the wounds of segregation.
Despite the gains, the death of George Floyd, as well as others, confirms how far away our nation still is from justice and equality. People are angry, terrified, and frustrated. Some feel hopeless and helpless. In times like these, people instinctively turn to our leaders for hope and a path forward. The real solution, however, does not lie with our leaders; it lies within all of us. We share collective responsibility to ensure basic human rights for everyone.
Sports unite communities; championships can bring a city together. We believe baseball can be a catalyst for change. We saw it happen in the city of Detroit when the Tigers won the World Series in 1968 - a year of great turbulence. Our hope and belief is that Music City Baseball will inspire this unity as we work to bring Major League Baseball to Nashville.