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Robinson would not be pleased today
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The 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier has now come and passed. Sunday was all about No. 42, and Major League Baseball did a great job promoting the special occasion honoring the bravest men in all of professional sports.

As I watched the game between the Padres and Dodgers - and witness greats such as Frank Robinson and Hank Aaron throw out the first pitch - I couldn't help but wonder: if Robinson were alive today, would he truly be happy that baseball was doing everything in its power to increase the percentage of black players, including coaches and front-office personnel?

After all, that was Robinson's ultimate goal.

But many people don't realize that Robinson did so much off the field and away from baseball. He was an avid forerunner during the Civil Rights movement, a supporter of Martin Luther King Jr. and was engaged in many political campaigns for various politicians throughout his lifetime. These are just a handful of accomplishments Robinson extended to this great nation.

Yet up until April 15, 1947 - the day Robinson made his MLB debut - Robinson endured what no man or woman should ever have to face in a lifetime. (In fact, the taunting and humiliation did not end on that day, but rather the day he died.) He was harassed both verbally and physically on a constant basis by fans and players. Robinson received death threats and was ridiculed based on the color of his skin - the color of his skin!

Unfortunately, the percentage of blacks playing, coaching and running the game have reached an all-time low, and this is where my own concern rests.

In 1975, 28 percent of Major League Baseball players were black. Last year, only 8.4 percent of big leaguers were black - the absolute lowest level in over 20 years.

Furthermore, between the two 40-man roster teams competing against one another on the anniversary of the greatest achievement in sports history, just four players were black - 5 percent.

Leading up to the celebration, the problem was addressed on several major sports networks, including ESPN. Discussions, ideas and opinions were also expressed on several local radio stations. The only thing I learned from some of these so-called experts and analysts was one thing: talk is cheap. Many of them had great ideas, but until the effort and action is put forth, it's nothing but spoken words.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Football League are several associations that could possibly be responsible for the decline; however, it is not their intention. According to The African American Registry, approximately 90 percent of NBA players are black. As for football, 67 percent of all players are black. (There are no black owners and only one general manager in the NFL.)

There are other factors, including various professional organizations, which are responsible for these numbers being so low.

Major League Baseball must also be held accountable, perhaps above the rest. Although it has invested millions of dollars in operations to help this cause (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, or RBI), more programs and a stronger commitment to generate interest in urban areas is needed.

Perhaps if baseball would focus less on who is abusing steroids (more than we'll ever really know) and more on implementing steps toward making America's pastime attractable for everyone, then Robinson would be celebrated for more than just one day.

Retiring No. 42 is great, and the 200-plus players who wore Robinson's number on Sunday in his honor was a wonderful and extraordinary tribute. But let us never forget why and what Jackie Robinson stands for.