USA Today Sports op-ed links Judge Jackson to Jackie Robinson for having to ‘endure’ racial insults

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USA Today Sports published an op-ed Thursday that compared Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Jackson Brown to baseball legend Jackie Robinson, and said Brown endured “racial insult after insult during her confirmation hearings.”

“The reason goes beyond the obvious one. Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball in 1947 and he remains one of the most pivotal Americans in the modern history of the country,” Mike Freeman, a race and inequality editor for USA Today Sports, wrote, adding that Jackson will “create her own form of immortality.” 

Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in for her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday, March 21, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in for her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday, March 21, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

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Freeman said both Jackson and Robinson are also alike in their “even, calm demeanor” in addition to their qualifications. 

“In this way, both Jackson and Robinson are linked beyond their status as firsts,” he wrote.

Freeman argued that Jackson must always remain calm, or she would be “portrayed as The Angry Black Woman.” 

“Jackson has faced the 21st century version of what Robinson did,” the op-ed contended, adding that senators were “hurling racist tropes” at the nominee. Freeman said questions about the 1619 Project and critical race theory had “nothing to do” with Jackson and were just attempts to “brand her” as a “Black radical.”

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“Overall, no one was going to rattle her. It’s something I’d like to think would make Robinson proud,” he summarized. 

NBC News also recently published an opinion piece that linked transgender swimmer Lia Thomas to Robinson. The op-ed argued that Thomas, a transgender woman, competing against women and shattering swimming records should be celebrated as other “firsts” in sports are celebrated. 

“Change in sports doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it linear. Major professional sports leagues like MLB and the NFL resisted racially integrating their player rosters… Today, athletes like Jackie Robinson are celebrated as ‘breaking the color barrier’ in sports,” the author wrote. 

Jackson is poised to become the first Black female to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. President Biden said he planned to nominate a Black female to the court after Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announced he would be retiring. 

As President Biden’s tenure in the White House hits the 100-day milestone, media watchdogs and journalism professors alike have noticed that journalists are "overwhelmingly favorable, polite, and gentle" when covering the current administration. 

As President Biden’s tenure in the White House hits the 100-day milestone, media watchdogs and journalism professors alike have noticed that journalists are “overwhelmingly favorable, polite, and gentle” when covering the current administration. 
(Getty Images)

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Jackson currently sits on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, where she was nominated to replace Attorney General Merrick Garland. The Supreme Court nominee will not be testifying Thursday, but the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from the American Bar Association and two panels – one summoned by Democrats and one by Republicans. 

U.S. Supreme Court nominee and federal appeals court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson meets with U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 15, 2022. REUTERS/Jim Bourg 

U.S. Supreme Court nominee and federal appeals court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson meets with U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 15, 2022. REUTERS/Jim Bourg 
(REUTERS/Jim Bourg)

During her confirmation hearing for her nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Jackson received three GOP votes, including one from Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who said “the radical left has won” when she was first selected. 

Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told Fox News Digital that it is still his “hope” that Jackson is confirmed by a bipartisan vote.

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