A funny thing happened to an evening about sustainability in the sports world
That the sports world is engaged, and that baseball is leading the way, gives me hope and energizes me for our clean energy future because I know baseball has led us down a path toward progress before
By Chris Bast
A funny thing happened to an evening about sustainability in the world of professional sports: we ended up talking about civil rights.
When speaker after speaker, including Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, representatives from the Seattle Mariners, and Boston Bruins and Stanley Cup Champion Andrew Ference all use Jackie Robinson as an example of sport’s ability to drive social change, it makes you sit up and pay attention.
Jackie Robinson debuted in the Major Leagues in 1947, seven years BEFORE the landmark Supreme Court Case of Brown v. Board of Education. That year, ten years before the Arkansas National Guard was called out to prevent the integration of Little Rock Central High School and seventeen years before the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Jackie Robinson was Rookie of the Year in the National League
Commissioner Selig honored Robinson’s legacy and brought home the point that it was baseball and sports that helped bring together a nation still divided by race.
As the story of Jackie Robinson demonstrates, sport, with baseball at the forefront, has been a driver of social change in this country. Celebrating the home team’s victory feels just as good whether you’re black, white, Democrat, Republican, gay, straight, or even green.
As Commissioner Selig
said, the top executives from the world of sports have identified
sustainability as essential for their businesses. Across the country, teams, venues, leagues,
and players are driving the clean economy in their regions by making smart
commuting choices, implementing efficiency and clean energy for their
utilities, and diverting more of their waste to recycling and composting.
The Green Sports Alliance recognizes not only that there is an environmental and moral imperative to sustainability, but that environmental stewardship is smart business. They’re saving money, improving environmental performance, and gaining new sponsors and community partners along the way.
That the sports world is engaged, and that baseball is
leading the way, gives me hope and energizes me for our clean energy future
because I know baseball has led us down a path toward progress before.
As James Earl Jones famously said in Field of Dreams, “The one constant through all the years has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again.”
This game, this field of dreams, is getting greener. And that will be good for us all.