The game is over, but not the excitement for the Jackie Robinson West team. The City of Chicago gave them a parade Wednesday that ended and started with a rally.
As they made there way along the parade route, hundreds of fans waved and cheered. The last stop was Millennium Park, where Rev. Jesse Jackson from Operation Push, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chance the Rapper showed their support by attending.
“I am proud of them, I’m proud of what they’re learning and everything they’ve accomplished like brotherhood and team-building,” said Karen Lloyd.
“I think it’s important to show the world that young African American men can come together and do something good, not only for the City of Chicago but for the whole United States of America because it’s important for kids to come together,” said Mildred Flynn, a supporter.
On Tuesday Dick’s Sporting Goods sold 7,000 Jackie Robinson West T-shirts, where all net proceeds went back to the team. The store opened up a 9 a.m. yet people were lined up by 6 a.m. said Community Marketing Manager Brian Dibbert.
“We wanted to help the organization as much as we could and we’re just trying to do our part to give back to Chicago,” said Dibbert.
The shirts sold-out by 2 p.m.
One father rushed in during his lunch break to get one for his family, which included his two-year-old son.
“The main reason I came to get one is for my son so he could see how big of an example our young Black kids are being in the city and that can motivate him when he grows up,” said Michael McPherson.
Another supporter, Donna Montgomery couldn’t make the parade, but said she would attend the fireworks at Navy Pier for the team. She purchased some T-shirts before the store ran out.
“I grew up in Jackie Robinson West territory so it’s in my blood and I feel excited [for them],” Montgomery said. “They showed the rest of the country that despite your environment, despite whatever you are exposed to you can do well and you don’t have to become part of the problem.”