Spike Lee Directed A Short Film Honoring Jackie Robinson’s 100th Birthday


Opening Day in baseball is upon us, and one spot you’ll see watching your favorite team on Thursday will remind you of one of baseball’s most important legends. Spike Lee, who won his first-ever Oscar earlier in the year for the screenplay for BlacKkKlansman, has directed a short film honoring Jackie Robinson to celebrate what would have been the star’s 100th birthday.

Called Impact, the film honors Robinson, who in 1947 broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball when he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. The film is narrated by Sharon Robinson, Jackie’s daughter, and will also appear during opening day broadcasts as a 60 second spot.

Focusing on the day he first took the field for the Dodgers — April 15, 1947 — the film explores the impact that Robinson’s heroics had on people in America.

Interspersed between footage of Robinson signing autographs and playing at Ebbets Field is a multicultural group of people taking the oath of citizenship, with a woman wearing a Dodgers Robinson jersey.


The film doubles as a Budweiser commercial, as groups of people are depicted at bars watching Robinson make his debut for the Dodgers while sipping Buds.

“It was bigger than the game because it changed everything,” Sharon Robinson says. “Under the watchful eye of thousands, Jackie Robinson heroically stepped forward, determined to break the color barrier of the sport he loved.”


The beer company will also release special bottles of Budweiser this season with Robinson’s 42, which is retired throughout Major League Baseball, on it.

“Jackie Robinson was a true American hero who displayed incredible courage and resilience in the name of equality and unity” Ricardo Marques, a vice president at Anheuser-Busch, said in a release. “His boundary-breaking achievements extend well beyond baseball through his work as a civil rights activist; undeniably Jackie Robinson continues to serve as an inspiration today for anyone out there looking to live with impact.

Budweiser says every bottle sold will see 42 cents donated to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.