NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE: HANK AARON’S GRACE, DIGNITY AND PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE ARE AN INSPIRATION FOR ALL AMERICANS
NEW YORK (January 22, 2021) – National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial issued the following statement in response to the passing of baseball legend and civil rights icon Hank Aaron:
“The moment when Hank Aaron smacked his 715th career home run into the Braves bullpen at Dodger Stadium was celebrated with fireworks, a standing ovation and a post-game ceremony with Georgia Governor and future President Jimmy Carter. But we must never forget the terrible risk and great personal pain Aaron endured to achieve that moment of progress and pride for Black America.
“He braved the jeers and death threats, not for the glory of his own athletic achievement, but to break down barriers and carry on the legacy of his idol, Jackie Robinson. He continued the fight for equality off the field as well, bringing players of color into the game through the Hank Aaron Rookie League program and creating life-changing opportunity through the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation.
“Retiring as the last Major League player to have played in the Negro Leagues, Aaron’s career can be seen as a symbolic bridge from the dark days of segregation to an era of greater opportunity. His grace, dignity and pursuit of excellence remain an inspiration for all Americans. The National Urban League extends its deepest condolences to his wife, Billye, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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