Jackie Robinson’s faith missing from ’42′ movie
Apr 12, 2013
A new film about Jackie Robinson, titled 42 — the number he wore during his historic career — tells the triumphant story of how the Civil Rights icon integrated professional baseball by playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. But there’s a mysterious hole at the center of this otherwise worthy film.
Why Robinson was chosen
For starters, Rickey himself was a “Bible-thumping Methodist” who refused to attend games on Sunday. He sincerely believed it was God’s will that he integrate baseball and saw it as an opportunity to intervene in the moral history of the nation, as Lincoln had done.
And Rickey chose Robinson because of the young man’s faith and moral character. There were numerous other Negro Leagues players to consider, but Rickey knew integrating the racist world of professional sports would take more than athletic ability. The attacks would be ugly, and the press would fuel the fire. If the player chosen were goaded into retaliating, the grand experiment would be set back a decade or more.
Rickey knew he must find someone whose behavior on and off the field would be exemplary, and who believed “turning the other cheek” was not just the practical thing to do but the right thing. …
At some point, omitting information becomes a lie and deception. When what is omitted is critical to understanding the story, that line has been crossed. Sadly, however good it might be otherwise be as a movie, “42”, IMO, has crossed that line.