LOS ANGELES — For the first time in Major League Baseball history, Commissioner Bud Selig has decreed that any uniformed personnel — player, coach or manager — can wear Jackie Robinson’s famous No. 42 as the sport celebrates on Sunday the 60th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier.
Robinson will be honored in each of the 15 ballparks where games will be played, with the core ceremony at Dodger Stadium beginning at 8 p.m. ET. Robinson played his first regular-season game for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field.
It’s somewhat fitting that the Don Imus fiasco blew up this week, but if the heightened awareness of the pervasive sexism and racism in this country is allowed to fade simply because MSNBC and CBS caved to the pressure and fired him — not because it was the right thing to do, but because it was the fiscally prudent thing to do — then it’d be akin to Jackie Robinson being the only black baseball player. Imus is a symptom, not the ill, and being satisfied with his ouster would be a big mistake.
What about Rush Limbaugh and his ilk? Snoop Dogg and company? The radio stations and television networks that broadcast their crap?
If Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, NOW, et al, aren’t full-of-shit opportunists, then the war has only just begun, and Imus will be remembered for stepping on the landmine that kicked things off; martyred by some, scorned by others, but ultimately judged by history to be a single twisted tree in a dense, dark forest.