AP Compares Zimmerman Verdict to Sanford Expelling Jackie Robinson in 1946

On Monday, the Associated Press compared the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial to the expulsion of Jackie Robinson from Sanford, Florida some 70 years ago. The beginning of the piece, headlined “Fla. Town somberly absorbs Zimmerman verdict,” by Kyle Hightower, opens, “Nearly 70 years after Jackie Robinson was run out of town, Sanford is absorbing what some see as another blow to race relations: the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin.”

The article continues, “Some black residents of this community of almost 50,000 people where the shooting took place say that while relations between black and white have improved over the years, progress has been slow and the Martin case demonstrated that problems persist….In 1946, Sanford was the site of the botched start of Jackie Robinson's first steps toward breaking baseball's color barrier. Robinson had been sent to Sanford for his first spring training with the Brooklyn Dodgers' minor-league Montreal Royals. Two days after he arrived, he was sent to the Dodgers' minor-league team in Daytona Beach after getting death threats from Sanford residents. In 1997, on the 50th anniversary of Robinson's breaking into the majors, then-Sanford Mayor Larry Dale issued a proclamation apologizing for Robinson's treatment. That tension has re-emerged in recent years…”



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