40 inspiring Jackie Robinson Quotes

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Jack Robinson was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) in the modern era. He was an American professional baseball player and had broken the baseball color line at the Brooklyn Dodgers base in 1947. And in 1962, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of the Fame.

Moreover, he won the inaugural Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, and he was also an All-Star for six consecutive seasons from 1949-1954. He had also won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949. Similarly, he played in six World Series and donated to the Dodgers 1995 World Series championship.

But MLB retired his uniform number 42 across all major league teams in 1997, and he was only a professional athlete to be so honored. Now, MLB celebrates a new annual tradition known as Jackie Robinson Day, and it was initiated on April 15, 2004. His nonviolent character and talent motivate most of his fans to be the best of them. He was also the first black to become a television analyst in MLB and vice president of a major American corporation known as Chock full o’Nuts. He also contributed to establishing the Freedom National Bank in New York.

Jackie Robinson quote on respect
Jackie Robinson quote on respect

And he was rewarded by the Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of freedom after his death. Here are a few of Jackie Robinson‘s quotes that should be followed.

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“There’s not an American in this country free until every one of us is free.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“Pop flies, in a sense, are just a diversion for a second baseman. Grounders are his stock trade”.—JACKIE ROBINSON

“The most luxurious possession, the richest treasure anybody has, is his personal dignity”.—JACKIE ROBINSON

“I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion, you’re wasting your life.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“The black press, some liberal sportswriters, and even a few politicians were banging away at those Jim Crow barriers in baseball. I never expected the walls to come tumbling down in my lifetime.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

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“When I look back at what I had to go through in black baseball, I can only marvel at the many black players who stuck it out for years in the Jim Crow leagues because they had nowhere else to go.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“Baseball is like a poker game. Nobody wants to quit when he’s losing; nobody wants you to quit when you’re ahead.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“I speak to you only as an American who happens to be an American Negro and one who is proud of that heritage. We ask for nothing special. We ask only that we be permitted to compete on an even basis, and if we are not worthy, then the competition shall, per se, eliminate us.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“I felt unhappy and trapped. If I left baseball, where could I go, what could I do to earn enough money to help my mother and marry Rachel? The solution to my problem was only days away in the hands of a tough, shrewd, courageous man called Branch Rickey, the president of the Brooklyn Dodgers.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

Jackie Robinson, a real legend
Jackie Robinson, a real legend

“I cannot possibly believe that I have it made while so many black brothers and sisters are hungry, inadequately housed, insufficiently clothed, denied their dignity as they live in slums or barely exist on welfare.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“Many people resented my impatience and honesty, but I never cared about acceptance as much as I cared about respect.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“I think if we go back and check our record, the Negro has proven beyond a doubt that we have been more than patient in seeking our rights as American citizens.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“The right of every American to first-class citizenship is the most important issue of our time.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“Blacks have had to learn to protect themselves by being cynical but not cynical enough to slam the door on potential opportunities. We go through life walking a tightrope to prevent too much disillusionment.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

Jackie Robinson quote about life
Jackie Robinson quote about life

“My problem was my inability to spend much time at home. I thought my family was secure, so I went running around everyplace else. I guess I had more of an effect on other people’s kids than I did my own.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“It kills me to lose. If I’m a troublemaker, and I don’t think that my temper makes me one, then it’s because I can’t stand losing. That’s the way I am about winning, all I ever wanted to do was finish first.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“The way I figured it, I was even with baseball and baseball with me. The game had done much for me, and I had done much for it.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“A new breed of Republicans has taken over the GOP. It is a new breed which is seeking to sell to Americans a doctrine which is as old as mankind – the doctrine of racial division, the doctrine of racial prejudice, the doctrine of white supremacy.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“After two years at UCLA, I decided to leave. I was convinced that no amount of education would help a black man get a job.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“During my life, I have had a few nightmares which happened to me while I was wide awake. One of them was the National Republican Convention in San Francisco, which produced the greatest disaster the Republican Party has ever known – Nominee Barry Goldwater.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“When I am playing baseball, I give it all that I have on the ball field. When the ball game is over, I certainly don’t take it home. My little girl who is sitting out there wouldn’t know the difference between a third strike and a foul ball. We don’t talk about baseball at home.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“It would make everything I worked for meaningless if baseball is integrated but political parties were segregated.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“If I had been white with the things I did, they never would have allowed me to get out of baseball.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“I guess you’d call me an independent, since I’ve never identified myself with one party or another in politics. I always decide my vote by taking as careful a look as I can at the actual candidates and issues themselves, no matter what the party label.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

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“I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am a black man in a white world. In 1972, in 1947, at my birth in 1919, I know that I never had it made.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“Today, Negroes play on every big league club and in every minor league. With millions of other Negroes in other walks of life, we are willing to stand up and be counted for what we believe in. In baseball or out, we are no longer willing to wait until Judgment Day for equality – we want it here on earth as well as in Heaven.”–JACKIE ROBINSON

“Above anything else, I hate to lose.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“How you played in yesterday’s game is all that counts.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“This ain’t fun. But you watch me, I’ll get it done.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

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“The old Dodgers were something special, but of my teammates overall, there was nobody like Pee Wee Reese for me.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“I want everybody to understand that I am an American Negro first before I am a member of any political party.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“In my opinion, baseball is as big a business as anything there is. It has to be a business, the way it is conducted.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“In all my years of baseball, I have always expected to be traded. I never liked the idea.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“I have always been grateful to Colonel Longley. He proved to me that when people in authority take a stand, good can come out of it.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“I had practiced with the team, and the first scheduled game was with the University of Missouri. They made it quite clear to the Army that they would not play a team with a black player on it. Instead of telling me the truth, the Army gave me leave to go home.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“My protest about the post exchange seating bore some results. More seats were allocated for blacks, but there were still separate sections for blacks and for whites. At least I had made my men realize that something could be accomplished by speaking out, and I hoped they would be less resigned to unjust conditions.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“The colonel replied that he didn’t care how my men had got the job done. He was happy that it had been accomplished. He said that, obviously, no matter how much or how little I knew technically, I was able to get the best out of people I worked with.”—JACKIE ROBINSON

“I had no future with the Dodgers, because I was too closely identified with Branch Rickey. After the club was taken over by Walter O’Malley, you couldn’t even mention Mr. Rickey’s name in front of him. I considered Mr. Rickey the greatest human being I had ever known.–JACKIE ROBINSON

Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah is an engineer and content writer passionate about sports and athletics. With a background in engineering and a love for all things active, Sanjib brings a unique perspective to the world of sports writing. Whether he is covering the latest trends in sports technology or sharing tips on improving your game, Sanjib's words are always rooted in a deep appreciation for players' hard work and dedication everywhere. In his free time, you can find him hitting the courts or hitting the trails, always looking for new ways to challenge himself and improve his skills.

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