"Respect the game, respect others – that's what I always learned in sports. Whatever background or whatever you are, it doesn't matter. Treat everyone the same, that's how it should be."
In 1947, Yogi Berra offered friendship and support to Paterson's Larry Doby. When Doby became the first black player to integrate the American League, he was not on Berra's team, but that didn't stop the future Hall of Famer from checking in, offering his support. Eight years later, when the Yankees finally integrated their lineup, Berra was there to welcome Elston Howard to the team.
The Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Little Falls, N.J., is creating a new exhibit, Championing Respect, which will detail the evolution of attitudes from Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier to the latest news of gay athletes openly competing.
The exhibit, expected to open in mid-June, is a collaboration with Athlete Ally, an organization aimed at ending homophobia in sports.
In a project that has been in the works for months between the two organizations, the museum, on the campus of Montclair State University, will open a "Championing Respect" exhibit in June. It will chart how sports has contributed to evolving mores and social movements -- including Jackie Robinson's breaking of baseball's color barrier, the struggle of women to achieve equality in sports and gay rights. In addition, Athlete Ally is developing a series of educational programs for the museum.