Thursday, June 18, 2009

Civil Rights Game This Weekend

The Civil Rights Game will be held this Saturday, June 20, between the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

The event showcases the efforts Major League Baseball has made to create a level playing field for players and fans from all races and backgrounds. For the first time in its three editions, the Civil Rights Game is being held at a big league ballpark during the regular season.

The event is billed as the Civil Rights Game, but there are two days worth of events both inside and outside of Great American Ball Park.

Saturday afternoon will be about saluting iconic people and personalities during the Major League Baseball Beacon Awards Luncheon at the Duke Energy Center in downtown Cincinnati. The Beacon Awards recognize individuals "whose lives are emblematic of the spirit of the civil rights movement."

The MLB Beacon of Life Award will be presented by Commissioner Bud Selig to Hank Aaron. Boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard will give the MLB Beacon of Change Award to the legendary Muhammad Ali. Comedian and television star Bill Cosby will receive the MLB Beacon of Hope Award from Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson. The luncheon, which is sold out, will be hosted by CNN anchor and reporter Soledad O'Brien and former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to deliver the keynote address.

The Baseball and Civil Rights Movement Roundtable Discussion will be held Friday afternoon at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Moderated by renowned Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree, the discussion will feature panelists like Reds great and Hall of Famer Tony Perez, basketball Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson and MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds. Admission to the roundtable is free and it will also be streamed live on MLB.com from 4-5:30 p.m. ET. The Freedom Center, which tells the story of slaves and their quest for freedom, is just down the street from Great American Ball Park.
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