LOS ANGELES (NEXSTAR/AP) — Actor Chadwick Boseman, who played Black icon Jackie Robinson and brought his story to life for a new generation, died of cancer at 43.
Boseman played Robinson in the 2013 production of ’42.’
The South Carolina-born actor died on a day that Major League Baseball was celebrating Jackie Robinson day. More than 70 years later, the racial reckoning continued.
Eleven games were postponed this week as some teams joined other leagues like the NBA, WNBA and MLS in protesting social injustice.
Teams across the league were celebrating the day in various ways. As usual, players, managers, coaches, umpires and other on-field personnel were wearing Robinson’s No. 42.
In 2013, Boseman talked about what it was like to bring Robinson’s story to life.
“I knew the story as like as a history book text, like this is what you need to know about Black history,” he told al.com in an interview.
“You understand how terrifying that must have been and how maddening it can be to be wrongfully accused of something, and for something unjust to happen to you,” Boseman said.
“And then in the face of that, you don’t punk out,” he noted. “You respond in a way that is strong but that maintains a certain amount of integrity. Somebody that can do that is a particular type of person, especially during that day and age.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.