Chadwick Boseman died of colon cancer last week, and many fans, celebrities and public figures have paid tribute to him in different ways. One of Boseman's most notable roles was Jackie Robinson in the film 42. Robinson's daughter, Sharon, wrote a tribute to Boseman for The Hollywood Reporter.
"They'd see themselves as doing their job and doing it the best they can and carrying a weight on their shoulders," she said. "There's so much responsibility when you are a pioneer or when you are playing the role of a pioneer and a hero." Sharon went on to say that it was important for Boseman to "get all aspects of this story correct" when talking about playing Robinson. She then listed what her father did while playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers and said Chad understood what needed to be done."
Sharon then said she recommends the movie 42 and not The Jackie Robinson Story, which her father plays himself. "I've been with Major League Baseball for 25 years, and after 42 came out, I'd be on the field and players and managers would all come up to me and say, 'I thought I understood the story, and now I get it," she added.
The tribute continued with Sharon talking about how she and her mom went to see Black Panther and the Apollo Theatre. "He became the hero. The powerful one," she said. "There's no doubt in my mind that he knew how important it was to the Black community in particular and to Marvel fans and kids in general." The tribute ended with Sharon saying both Boseman and Robinson "had short lives... The intensity of their lives, the impact they had on so many people, the importance of finding uplifting ways to celebrate African American history and to stay in the game right to the very end. They were two very courageous and committed men, and their lives were meant to intercede."
Sharon is a consultant for Major League Baseball and vice-chair of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which released a statement after learning about the death of Boseman. "A Consumate professional, he absorbed every story, every memory and every photo and film excerpt he could consume to help translate the would of an American hero," the statement said. "And now, Chadwick will be etched in history as a hero in his own right, especially having shown millions of Black and Brown children the power of that a superhero looks like them. Chadwick - may you rest in peace eternally. Take your place among the greats. You earned it."