MLB Great Reggie Jackson Recalls Facing Racism As Player In Powerful Live TV Moment

MLB great Reggie Jackson opened up about racism he experienced during his early baseball career in powerful remarks Thursday on live TV.

Jackson, who played for the Kansas City Athletics and the Oakland Athletics in the 1960s and ’70s, described multiple instances in which people referred to him using the N-word decades ago.

“I walked into restaurants and they would point at me and said, ‘The n****r can’t eat here,’” he told a Fox Sports panel at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama, where he played for the minor league Birmingham A’s in 1967.

The baseball Hall of Famer also recalled experiencing discrimination when he tried to attend a “welcome home dinner” at the country club of then-Athletics owner Charlie Finley.

“They pointed me out ... [and said,] ‘He can’t come in here.’ Finley marched the whole team out,” Jackson said. “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.’”

Jackson’s remarks came as he attended a tribute game honoring the Negro Leagues, less than one month after Major League Baseball incorporated the leagues’ statistics into its official records.

Jackson was one of a few Black players on the Birmingham squad when he played at Rickwood, the oldest professional ballpark in the U.S.

“Coming back here is not easy,” Jackson told former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, who asked how “emotional” he felt in returning to the city.

Jackson pointed to a number of his white friends in baseball — including his onetime manager John McNamara, as well as players like Rollie Fingers and Dave Duncan — who helped him get through difficult moments.

He recalled crashing on a teammate’s couch before people threatened to burn down the apartment complex unless he “got out” of it.

“I wouldn’t wish it on anyone,” Jackson said, adding that he might have been killed if he reacted to racism by starting a fight.

“At the same time, had it not been for my white friends ... I would have never made it.”

WARNING: This video contains uncensored dialogue with disturbing language.

H/T Mediaite