His politics was one of the baseball great’s facets that defies the canned deification process. And it got him fired as a newspaper columnist in 1960 for supporting Nixon against Kennedy.
“No one will ever convince me that the [New York] Post acted in an honest manner,” he was quoted in 1962. “I believe the simple truth is that they became somewhat alarmed when they realized that I really meant to write what I believed. There is a peculiar parallel between some of our great Northern ‘liberals’ and some of our outstanding Southern liberals. Some of the people in both classes share the deep-seated convictions that only their convictions can possibly be the right ones. They both inevitably say the same thing: ‘We know the Negro and what is best for him.'”
And 53 years later, not a damn thing has changed. Except the cosmetic. Saying Negro is now taboo.