I just saw the latest “Jackie Robinson breaks the color barrier in baseball” movie (there have been many included one that starred Robinson as himself). Being somewhat young I’ll never understand the way he was treated back then, seems completely insane to me.
But the one thing I never hear about is the (all white) umpires making all sorts of bad calls against Robinson. In fact, in game 1 of the 1955 world series, umpire Bill Summers actually gave him the benefit of the doubt and called him safe when he stole home, and it was a very close, even controversial call. Though I’d expect the worst of it to have been back when he started in '47.
In every movie I’ve seen, including documentaries like Ken Burn’s Baseball, and in every article I’ve read, I don’t see anything about the white umpires giving Robinson crap and making bad calls against him, throwing him out of games for being black, etc. Can it really be true that despite all the racism of the day, the white umpires called things completely fairly when Robinson was involved? I find that hard to believe, but I can’t find anything to contradict it.
Apparently when Branch Rickey first met with Robinson, he told him about all the crap he’d get including bad calls by umpires (that’s all I can find on the subject via a google search). But did that really not happen?
Note: this is a question about sports to a degree but it’s primarily a historical question about racism, not a post about a contemporary baseball game, so I assume it goes in GQ.