American actor Chadwick Boseman, who played lead role in the 2013 biographical sports film 42 based on the life of iconic baseball player Jackie Robinson, died at the age of 43 on Saturday. Boseman had been fighting colon cancer for four years.
Known for his portrayals in films such as Black Panther, Marshall, Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, Boseman had received plenty of appreciation for his performance in 42. In fact, it was his first leading role in a movie.
The film traces the journey of Robinson, who wore jersey No 42 through his Major League Baseball career, and shows his achievements with the Brooklyn Dodgers despite facing immense hardships for being a black man.
“I knew that it could be a life-changing experience to be a part of this movie and I knew that everybody has a stake in it,” Boseman had said about his role in 42 during an interview with movieclips.com in 2013.
“In a movie like this you have to go to history and understand where he [Robinson] was in his life at this point in time. It seemed to be he didn’t want to play baseball anymore. He also had in his psyche and in his vision certain things that he wanted to be able to do as a man. He understood that to do those things, life for black people had to change.”
On Friday, the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics held a moment of silence before departing the field, leaving a Black Lives Matter T-shirt at home plate as they opted not to play their Major League Baseball contest.
The decision came as MLB celebrated Jackie Robinson Day in honor of the player who broke the major league color barrier in 1947. All players, managers and coaches at Houston’s Minute Maid Park were wearing Robinson’s No 42.