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Stan Musial’s Other Legacy

Randy Shawbyline‚ Jan. 22‚ 2013

Baseball great Stan Musial died on January 19, and he was justly lauded as one of the greatest players of his era. His obituaries noted that Musial’s late 1940’s Cardinals included some of the most racist players in the game, and that many yelled racist barbs at Jackie Robinson and other black Brooklyn Dodger players. Musial “did not speak out on racial issues,” and never publicly questioned the team’s refusal to hire a black player until 1954. While Musial is praised for “showing no reluctance to play with black players,” his racial legacy should be seen in the context of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assessment that the biggest obstacle to justice for blacks was not the “violence of white bigots” but the “silence” of moderates who favor order over justice.