Jackie Robinson
Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was the first black
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 (MLB) player of the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line
Baseball color line
The color line in American baseball excluded players of black African descent from Organized Baseball, or the major leagues and affiliated minor leagues, until Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization for the 1946 season...

 when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As the first black man to play in the major leagues since the 1880s, he was instrumental in bringing an end to racial segregation
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

 in professional baseball, which had relegated black players to the Negro leagues for six decades.

I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me. All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.

Statement to teammates on the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, as quoted in The Impact and Legacy Years, 1941, 1947, 1968 (2000) by Fred Pulis, p. 100