Denzel Washington honoured a sports hero.

On Tuesday, the “Deja Vu” star made a surprise appearance at the 2022 MLB All-Star Game to pay tribute to legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson.

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Wearing a Dodgers jersey with Robinson’s retired No. 42 emblazoned on the back, Washington spoke about the player’s legacy in breaking the league’s colour line.

“Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, 1947,” Washington began. “When Jackie Robinson stepped onto a Major League Baseball field for the first time, armed with supreme talent and unshakable character and wearing a Dodgers uniform, he changed the game of baseball and so much more.”

The actor said that Robinson’s activism on and off the field “challenged us to become better versions of ourselves.”

“Business leader, family man, activist, Hall of Famer. He said that life is not a spectator sport, and he lived that motto to the fullest. Number 42 blazed a trail that would light the way for people from every walk of life and every colour and to this very day… that profound impact looms just as large today as it did 75 years ago.”

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Robinson made his debut in MLB with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, becoming the first African-American player to take the field in the league. Later that season he was awarded 1947’s Rookie of the Year.

The player began his professional career only a couple years earlier, playing for the Kansas City Monarchs in baseball’s Negro leagues. The next year, Robinson joined the Dodgers affiliate minor league team, the Montreal Royals, before finally moving on to the majors.