MLB Legend Reggie Jackson Details Racism He Faced While Playing In Alabama

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Major League Baseball legend Reggie Jackson opened up about the racism he faced while playing in Alabama.

On Thursday (June 20), Jackson was joined by several Black baseball stars for the Negro League tribute game at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama, per NBC News.

Jackson, who began his career playing for the Birmingham A’s at Rickwood Field in 1967, said returning to the field was "not easy." The National Baseball Hall of Famer recalled being denied entry into public places because of the color of his skin and being called racial slurs.

"I would never want to do it again. I walked into restaurants and they would point at me and say that n----- can’t eat here," Jackson said during the Fox Sports pregame show for Thursday's game.

"We went to (Kansas City A's owner) Charlie Finley’s country club for a welcome home dinner and they pointed me out with the N-word, 'He can’t come in here.' Finley marched the whole team out. Finally, they let me in there. He said, 'We’re going to go to the diner and eat hamburgers. We’ll go where we’re wanted,'" he added.

Jackson went on to explain that he was in Birmingham at the time of the Baptist Street Church bombing where members of the Ku Klux Klan killed four Black girls and injured over 20 others inside.

"The year I came here, Bull Connor was the sheriff the year before, and they took Minor League Baseball out of here because in 1963 the Klan murdered four Black girls ... at a church here," Jackson said.

"I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. At the same time, had it not been for my white friends, had it not been for a white manager, and Rudi, Fingers, and Duncan and Lee Meyers, I would have never made it," he continued.

"I was too physically violent. I was ready to physically fight somebody. I would have got killed here because I would have beat someone’s ass and you would’ve saw me in an oak tree somewhere," the baseball legend added.

Watch Jackson's remarks about his time in Alabama below.

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