Season-Long Project Honoring Jackie & Rachel Robinson’s Lasting Legacy and Continued Impact Across Generations
April 4-15: Short Story Video Premieres, Featuring Interviews with Prominent Athletes & Public Figures
July 26: First Take Live from the Opening of the Jackie Robinson Museum in NYC; Reports on SportsCenter Throughout the Day
Adding to ESPN’s Cross-Platform Content Initiative Celebrating “Black History Always”
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball, ESPN is debuting a special project beginning April 4, to honor Robinson’s lasting legacy, as well as showcase the continued work of Robinson’s wife Rachel as she approaches her 100th birthday on July 19. The season-long project – which adds to ESPN’s cross-platform content initiative celebrating “Black History Always” – will encompass a 10+-part short story video series leading up to the 75th anniversary and a significant on-site presence with ESPN shows, special guests and much more from the opening of the Jackie Robinson Museum in New York City.
“It is an honor to oversee this initiative highlighting the impact of Jackie Robinson through comprehensive coverage of the 75th anniversary,” said David Roberts, ESPN head of NBA & studio production. “Jackie opened doors for African Americans and all other minority groups in every profession up to and including the President of the United States. That’s why it is extremely important his lasting legacy is recognized and never forgotten.”
Jackie Robinson video series (April 4-15):
Beginning April 4, ESPN will premiere a short story video each day, culminating with the final debut on the April 15 anniversary date. The 10+-episode Jackie to Me series, will feature newly conducted interviews with prominent athletes & public figures speaking about Robinson’s many legacies and lasting impact across generations. Tim Anderson, Bobby Bradford, Ruby Bridges, Chuck D, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Billie Jean King, Willie O’Ree, Robinson’s son David and more are among the Jackie to Me interviewees who share personal reflections and stories.
The videos will debut across SportsCenter, Get Up and First Take – with a full day of content across shows on the April 15 anniversary date. After that, the videos will continue to be showcased across ESPN’s MLB and studio programming, as well as ESPN Audio content and the network’s YouTube and social media channels. The series will also be accompanied by a written piece on ESPN.com.
Read about what went into creating the deeply personal videos at ESPN Front Row, including insight from Antoine Lewis (vice president, production) and project co-producers Jeff Ausiello (sr. managing producer), Lauren Stowell (sr. managing producer) and Willie Weinbaum (bureau producer).
Also on April 15, ESPN’s college baseball coverage will honor the 75th anniversary with five games across four networks culminating with Stanford vs. UCLA at Jackie Robinson Stadium in Los Angeles (10 p.m. ET, ESPN2). Jason Benetti and Doug Glanville will have the call.
Jackie Robinson Museum opening (July 26):
On July 26, the Jackie Robinson Museum will open at One Hudson Square in New York City, unveiling a 19,380 square foot space to the public featuring 4,500+ artifacts, 40,000 historical images and 450+ hours of video footage exploring Robinson’s unwavering commitment to social justice and equal opportunity.
ESPN’s signature morning debate show First Take, with Stephen A. Smith and host Molly Qerim, will be live from the Jackie Robinson Museum, welcoming a full lineup of special guests in person throughout the show. Live reports from the museum will also be seen across editions of SportsCenter throughout the day.
Additional details on content, specials, interviews and more across the network’s MLB and studio show programming will be announced in the coming months.
Media Contact: Michael Skarka [email protected]