I have always been grateful to Colonel Longley. He proved to me that when people in authority take a stand, good can come out of it.
I speak to you only as an American who happens to be an American Negro and one who is proud of that heritage. We ask for nothing special. We ask only that we be permitted to compete on an even basis, and if we are not worthy, then the competition shall, per se, eliminate us.
I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me... All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.
My problem was my inability to spend much time at home. I thought my family was secure, so I went running around everyplace else. I guess I had more of an effect on other people's kids than I did my own.
I had practiced with the team, and the first scheduled game was with the University of Missouri. They made it quite clear to the Army that they would not play a team with a black player on it. Instead of telling me the truth, the Army gave me leave to go home.
Above anything else, I hate to lose.
In my opinion, baseball is as big a business as anything there is. It has to be a business, the way it is conducted.
The most luxurious possession, the richest treasure anybody has, is his personal dignity.
I want everybody to understand that I am an American Negro first before I am a member of any political party.
I guess you'd call me an independent, since I've never identified myself with one party or another in politics. I always decide my vote by taking as careful a look as I can at the actual candidates and issues themselves, no matter what the party label.
After two years at UCLA, I decided to leave. I was convinced that no amount of education would help a black man get a job.
I think if we go back and check our record, the Negro has proven beyond a doubt that we have been more than patient in seeking our rights as American citizens.
A new breed of Republicans has taken over the GOP. It is a new breed which is seeking to sell to Americans a doctrine which is as old as mankind - the doctrine of racial division, the doctrine of racial prejudice, the doctrine of white supremacy.
The right of every American to first-class citizenship is the most important issue of our time.
There's not an American in this country free until every one of us is free.
When I am playing baseball, I give it all that I have on the ball field. When the ball game is over, I certainly don't take it home. My little girl who is sitting out there wouldn't know the difference between a third strike and a foul ball. We don't talk about baseball at home.
If I had been white with the things I did, they never would have allowed me to get out of baseball.