White Sox to host Civil Rights Game

The White Sox will host the annual Civil Rights Game Aug. 24 against the Texas Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field.

Major League Baseball announced the honor today with Hall of Famer and MLB executive vice president of baseball development Frank Robinson, Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and Sox executive vice president Ken Williams were in attendance for the announcement as well as former Sox players Frank Thomas and Minnie Minoso.

"What we're trying to do is keep the Civil Rights Movement alive and in people's minds," Robinson said.

Unlike previous years, it is only a one-year commitment to host the event. The Civil Rights Game began in 2007 as a preseason exhibition game, and in 2009 the game was moved to the regular season. The Reds (2009 and 2010) and the Braves (2011 and 2012) have hosted the game.

"We can't allow this to be forgetten," Reinsdorf said of the Civil Rights Movement. "We can't let all the struggles that went on be forgotten.

"We're honored to be selected for this game. We think it's going to be a wonderful event."

It's more than just a game, however. The weekend will also feature the baseball and the Civil Rights Movement roundtable discussion and a youth baseball and softball clinic. MLB also hands out the Beacon of Life Award, Beacon of Change Award and Beacon of Hope Award to those who have helped the Civil Rights Movement.

"This weekend is more than a game," Williams said. "It's an experience. It's a discussion of things in the past in terms of Civil Rights that were fought for, some that are still being fought for.

"It's not just about baseball. It's about education and opportunity."

Williams enthusiastically volunteered the Sox as hosts for the Civil Rights Game and after Robinson and MLB reached out to see if any other teams were interested, the Sox were awarded the event.

Beyond than just having the game at U.S. Cellular Field, the ability to highlight the pursuit of educational equality and the problem of violence in the area couldn't be overlooked, Williams said.

"This is who we are, this is who we aspire to be," Williams said. "It was an easy call. ... I hope people begin to recognize that civil rights isn't in the past."

-- Meghan Montemurro

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