Major League Baseball will stage its inaugural “Civil Rights Game” this coming March 31, when the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals play the Cleveland Indians in an exhibition game at AutoZone Park in Memphis, the home of the National Civil Rights Museum and the city where Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968.
The 5:30 p.m. ET game, which will annually precede the opening of the regular season, will be broadcast live on ESPN, and is planned to culminate a day during which baseball will celebrate the nation’s civil rights movement.
“The Indians organization considers it an honor to participate in the inaugural Civil Rights Game,” Indians president Paul Dolan said. “We are extremely proud of our role, relative to the integration of Major League Baseball, as we hold dear the legacy of Larry Doby as the first African-American player in American League history in 1947, and Frank Robinson becoming the first African-American manager in baseball history in 1975.”
Filmmaker Spike Lee has also been commissioned to produce a five-minute documentary to commemorate the efforts of legendary civil rights pioneers as well as MLB’s role in supporting the rights of African -Americans. The film will debut during the Civil Rights Game festivities.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 states,
“(a) All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the grounds of race, color, religion, or national origin.”
I don’t suppose the public display of this insignia has done anything to promote discrimination or segregation on the grounds of race or color.