Roberto Clemente: A Hero Beyond the Baseball Diamond - Roberto and Prejudice

"Clemente", A Tribute to a Proud Puerto Rican, Number 16, Fair Use.


When Roberto got to Pittsburgh, he encountered some trouble. He found that in northern cities, there existed a lot of bigotry. Almost all of the blacks in the 1950’s lived in a section of town called the ghetto. In Pittsburgh, the ghetto section of the city was called “the Hill”.  He found the housing here was not good, and there was a lot of crime and poverty.

The sportswriters in Pittsburgh thought Roberto was arrogant and disrespectful and did not write about him often. When they did write about him it was to degrade him for his broken English. Roberto thought they tried to make him look foolish. If Roberto was injured and couldn’t play, the sportswriters called him lazy.  They referred to him as a good “black ballplayer”.  Roberto had never experienced prejudice in Puerto Rico, and he was hurt by the comments he read in the papers.

But Roberto did have some close friends in his teammates. They saw him as a kind, generous, caring man as well as a valued player. Roberto sent money to his family and often shown generosity to those less fortunate. These acts were just a natural part of Roberto’s character and he never sought publicity for the gifts he often gave to others.

Roberto often spoke out against segregation and prejudice he felt because of his race, ethnicity and accent.  He was often criticized about his outspoken opinions, and he was subjected to even more ridicule.

Original Release: May 13, 2016

Updated Last Revision: Jun 02, 2016

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"Roberto and Prejudice" AwesomeStories.com. May 13, 2016. Dec 09, 2019.
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