An exhibit highlighting signature moments in the struggle for racial, gender and LGBT equality in sports will be unveiled by the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center and Athlete Ally Thursday.
“Allyship” includes stories from Pee Wee Reese’s supportive embrace of Jackie Robinson in the wake of racial hostilities in 1947 to Jason Collins coming out as the first male gay athlete of a major team sport earlier this year.
“We are extremely proud to present this exhibit reflecting the ideals of Allyship,” said Dave Kaplan, director of the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center. “The stories are rather profound, each ally doing their part to change the inequities in sport and, in effect, society. Their efforts perfectly mirror the overall awareness-raising by our friends at Athlete Ally.”
The exhibit helps promote social change by highlighting the activism and support of notable sports figures:
- Baseball legend Ted Williams, who lobbied for recognition of Negro League players during his Hall of Fame induction in 1966;
- Gary Player, the South African golfer who befriended Lee Elder, an African-American, in his apartheid-divided homeland; and
- Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, now a member of Athlete Ally’s Board of Directors, who publicly condemned the homophobic comments of an opponent prior to last year’s Super Bowl.
“This exhibit is not only testimony to the great value of allyship in sports and society, it also speaks to the character and ideals of Yogi Berra himself,” said Hudson Taylor, founder and executive director of Athlete Ally. “We are grateful that Yogi shares the vision that being a good ally is ultimately about showing respect for your teammates and respect for the game that you play."
The Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center is located on the campus of Montclair State University.