Major League Baseball announced that the Atlanta Braves will host the 2011 and 2012 Civil Rights Game Weekends, a series of events developed to pay tribute to all of those who fought on and off the field for equal rights for all Americans.
Major League Baseball announced that the Atlanta Braves will host the 2011 and 2012 Civil Rights Game Weekends, a series of events developed to pay tribute to all of those who fought on and off the field for equal rights for all Americans. The 2011 Civil Rights Game will be played at Turner Field during next year's Championship Season. Atlanta, a significant location during the civil rights movement, was chosen from several competing candidates for the annual event.
"The Civil Rights Game Weekend has become one of the premier celebrations on the Major League Baseball calendar," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "We are pleased to have the Atlanta Braves and the city of Atlanta as hosts for this important event remembering a significant era in America's history."
"The Atlanta Braves are extremely proud and honored that our organization and our great city were selected to host the Civil Rights games for 2011 and 2012," said John Schuerholz, Atlanta Braves President. "We look forward with great anticipation and excitement to presenting these significant, meaningful games in the finest fashion."
As home to many key leaders and organizations of the civil rights movement, and as a location for many of the movement's grassroots activities, Atlanta played a critical role in this period of American history. Several sites honoring the civil rights movement are in Atlanta, including the King Center, the official, living memorial dedicated to the advancement of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; and the Carter Center, which is committed to advancing human rights and alleviating human suffering.
Among the events held during the weekend will be the MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon, which honors individuals whose lives are emblematic of the spirit of the civil rights movement. Past recipients of the MLB Beacon Award include: Baseball Hall of Famers Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays; Buck O'Neil, Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, Ruby Dee, Spike Lee, Bill Cosby, Harry Belafonte, John H. Johnson and Vera Clemente, widow of Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente. Proceeds from the MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon and other ancillary events will be donated to charity.
"We are anticipating a very successful tribute to the civil rights movement in the city of Atlanta," said Jimmie Lee Solomon, Executive Vice President, Baseball Development, Major League Baseball. "With the rich history of the city and the organization, the Braves will be terrific hosts of the Civil Rights Game Weekend in 2011 and 2012."
The 2011 Civil Rights Game Weekend is the fifth installation of an annual event that began in Memphis in 2007, centering on an exhibition game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Cleveland Indians. After another exhibition game in Memphis in 2008, the Civil Rights Game and ancillary events moved to Cincinnati in 2009 and 2010 as Championship Season contests.
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