The Major League Baseball Network has big plans for Jackie Robinson Day. As the world remembers the man who changed baseball forever, the league plans to honor the man who portrayed Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall throughout his iconic film career. On Jackie Robinson Day, the network will air a rare interview Chadwick Boseman did with the network prior to the release of the Jackie Robinson biopic, 42.
“[C]hildren would know who Jackie Robinson [was] from my performance,” Boseman said in a clip released by the network.
“That set in for me that now I’m responsible for being the face of that and portraying all of the characteristics and the qualities, principles that the man lived under. I also knew that there were a lot of people who viewed him as a hero, that knew him very well and they would be let down if I didn’t live up to those expectations.”
Boseman tragically died last August after a bout with colon cancer. Throughout his life, he and his costar, André Holland, helped promote the Jackie Robinson Foundation. This work brought him closer to Robinson’s wife, Rachel Robinson, and his kids.
“They both had short lives; my father died at 53. The intensity of their lives, the impact they had on so many people, the importance of finding uplifting ways to celebrate African American history and to stay in the game right to the very end. They were two very courageous and committed men, and their lives were meant to intercede. And I’m very thankful that they did,” Sharon Robinson told the Hollywood Reporter.
The “42/Boseman” segment is set to air on Wednesday before Jackie Robinson Day festivities kick off on Thursday.