January 31, 2019
President Thomas J. LeBlanc
George Washington University
1918 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20052
Dear Dr. LeBlanc,
I am writing this letter on the 100th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s birth. That fact intensifies my disappointment in learning that George Washington University is planning to drop the successful Jackie Robinson Project (JRP).
I believe Jackie Robinson was one of the greatest Americans in our country’s history. He was much more than a Hall-of-Fame baseball player and terrific all-around athlete. Not only did Robinson break the color barrier in baseball, he was a catalyst for the entire civil rights movement and dedicated his life to fighting social injustice. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called Robinson “a sit-inner before sit-ins, a freedom rider before freedom rides.”
By any measure the Jackie Robinson Project at GWU seems to have been successful. Through various programs, lectures and other events, the Project has informed more than 16,000 students — not only in the D.C. area but also across the country — by helping them understand and appreciate the serious impact Robinson had beyond baseball.
It would seem that the Jackie Robinson Project is something that you and other GWU administrators would be extremely proud of, and that you would be looking for ways to perpetuate rather than terminate it. Maybe you have been trying.
Hundreds of your students at GWU have signed a petition to “protest the administration’s arbitrary and unjust decision to terminate the Jackie Robinson Project.” I am writing in the hope that you will respectfully consider their petition and dropefforts to disband the Jackie Robinson Project.
Jackie Robinson’s courageous life needs to be continuallyshared with Americans of all ages, especially young students. By helping to keep the Jackie Robinson Project alive, you will continue to play a significant role in allowing Robinson’s inspirational example to positively affect our nation.
Founder, The Center for Study of Responsive Law
Founder, League of Fans.org
- Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Ken Reed's Author Page on Amazon
- League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.