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Race Barriers in Sports

Everyone who knows anything about the history of American sports knows the story of Jackie Robinson, the man who broke the color barrier in Major League baseball. But every American sport has its own

Race Barriers in Sports

Tom Fudge: Martin Luther King Day calls on us to consider the many aspects of our racist past. And for most of the past century, it was unusual to see sports fields and arena floors that we not racially segregated. You’ve heard of Jackie Robinson. But have you heard of Willie O’Ree? You’ll meet him as we tell some of the untold stories of the integration of sports.

Guests

  • Willy O’Ree, the first black man to play for the National Hockey League. He played for the Boston Bruins in 1958 and 1961. He’s now director of youth development for the NHL’s Diversity program. He ended his professional hockey career in San Diego, playing for the San Diego Gulls and the San Diego Hawks.
  • Bill Swank, San Diego baseball historian. His latest book is called Baseball in San Diego: From the Padres to Petco.
  • Dave Wiggens, professor at George Mason University where he is the director of the School of Recreation, Health and Tourism. He has co-authored several books on the subject of race and sports, including The Unlevel Playing Field: A documentary history of the African American Experience in Sport.