Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Cincinnati Reds today announced the MLB Beacon Award recipients at a press conference today at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.
The three honorees are Bill Cosby for the Beacon of Hope, Hank Aaron for the Beacon of Life and Muhammad Ali for the Beacon of Change. The MLB Beacon Awards recognize individuals whose lives are emblematic of the spirit of the civil rights movement.
The announcement was made in preparation for the Civil Rights Game, which pays tribute to one of our country’s most significant eras of social change and honors Major League Baseball’s involvement in the historic struggle through which legendary African-American players broke barriers and made important contributions to American society.
The game is June 20th between the Reds at Chicago White Sox at Great American Ball Park. This will be the first regular season Civil Rights Game and the first in Cincinnati since the inaugural Civil Right Game in Memphis, TN in 2007.
“Cincinnati has a rich baseball history and has played a significant role throughout our country’s journey towards civil equality,” said Bob Castellini, Reds President and CEO. “We are working with the City of Cincinnati and many of our community partners and sponsors to make this a weekend to remember.”
In addition to the Civil Rights Game on June 20, there will be a series of weekend events commemorating this special occasion. On Friday afternoon, there will be a roundtable discussion at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, which will be moderated by Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogeltree. On Saturday, the MLB Beacon Award winners will be honored at the MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon at the Duke Energy Center, and there will also be a youth summit that day.