"The Civil Rights Game and its surrounding events represent an integral way for Major League Baseball to recognize the courageous people who have fought - and continue to fight - injustice," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "When Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier 66 years ago, it was a watershed moment not only in our sport but in American history. With unprecedented diversity of players of all races and ethnicities in the sport today, we are pleased to stand alongside the White Sox in homage to all those of our game and beyond who have paved new paths to equality."
"It is an honor and privilege for the White Sox and the city of Chicago to host Major League Baseball's Civil Rights Game," said Jerry Reinsdorf, White Sox chairman. "Just as baseball had an indelible impact on the civil rights movement, the game has brought together generations of Chicagoans behind figures such Ted 'Double Duty' Radcliffe, Minnie Minoso, Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Larry Doby, Harold Baines and Frank Thomas."
"As a former player and manager who came up in the middle of the civil rights movement, I have personally witnessed Baseball's role in advancing equal rights for all," said Frank Robinson, MLB Executive Vice President of Baseball Development. "Together with the White Sox, we look forward to celebrating the era that has helped transform our country's past, present and future."
In addition to the 2013 Civil Rights Game at U.S. Cellular Field, several events will take place over the weekend, including:
Baseball & the Civil Rights Movement Roundtable Discussion - Friday, August 23rd
Moderated each year by Harvard Law School Professor and renowned expert on race and justice Charles Ogletree, the roundtable participants will discuss the pivotal role Baseball played in the civil rights movement and the game's continued presence as a social institution in American society. Previous panelists have included Martin Luther King III, human rights activist and eldest son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; Sharon Robinson, MLB Educational Programming Consultant and daughter of Baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson; Dolores Huerta, activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers; Ambassador Shabazz, Ambassador-at-large for Belize and eldest daughter of Malcolm X; Branch Rickey III, Pacific Coast League President and grandson of the late Branch Rickey; Arte Moreno, Principal Owner of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; Baseball Hall of Famers Barry Larkin, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, and Dave Winfield; Dodgers Legend Don Newcombe; and Hall of Fame journalist and MLB Network analyst Peter Gammons, among others. The discussion will be streamed on MLB.com at a time that is to be determined.
MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon - Saturday, August 24th
The MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon will honor the recipients of this year's MLB Beacon Awards, which recognizes individuals whose lives are emblematic of the spirit of the civil rights movement. Past recipients of MLB Beacon Awards include: Baseball Hall of Famers Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Ernie Banks; and also Newcombe, Buck O'Neil, Muhammad Ali, Harry Belafonte, Bill Cosby, Ruby Dee, Morgan Freeman, John H. Johnson, Billie Jean King, Spike Lee, Congressman John Lewis, Carlos Santana three of the founding members of Earth, Wind & Fire, and Vera Clemente, MLB Goodwill Ambassador and wife of the late Baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente. Keynote speakers at previous MLB Beacon Award events have included Commissioner Selig, President Bill Clinton, Ambassador Andrew Young, Reverend Joseph Lowery and Julian Bond.
Youth Clinic - Saturday, August 24th
The youth baseball and softball clinic is an event dedicated to local youth that will give them the opportunity to interact with and learn from current and former players. Interactive aspects will include batting cages, pitching machines and baserunning stations.
The 2013 Civil Rights Game is the seventh installation of an annual event that began in Memphis in 2007, centering on an exhibition game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Cleveland Indians. After another exhibition game in Memphis in 2008, the Civil Rights Game moved to Cincinnati (2009-2010) and then Atlanta (2011-2012) as Regular Season contests. As the site of the Chicago Freedom Movement, which some consider to be the most ambitious civil rights activity in the North, the city of Chicago played a crucial role in the civil rights movement.