​Screengrab from 'The League' movie promo, Magnolia Pictures.
Screengrab from 'The League' movie promo, Magnolia Pictures.

Questlove Gives Negro Baseball League the Greenlight in New Sports Documentary

A new trailer for Questlove-produced sports documentary The League has released, chronicling the rise of the Negro Baseball League.

Acclaimed musician and filmmaker Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson enters the world of sports in new documentary The League, which chronicles the iteration of the Negro Baseball League. The film, executive-produced by Thompson and directed by Sam Pollard, has been given a coveted spot at the Tribeca Film Festival this month and will be shown in more than 50 AMC Theaters nationwide on July 9, 10, and 12.

The documentary was also planned prior to the release of Questlove’s 2021 directorial debut Summer of Soul, which won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature last March. “The League was a miraculous achievement,” he told Deadline in 2020. “This documentary will tell the story about life on the field, as well as off the field, and so most importantly highlighting race in America through this lens.”

“When I was first approached about directing The League it brought back memories of growing up in East Harlem with my Dad who was a rabid Baseball Fan,” said Pollard. “He introduced me to some of the great Negro players in the Major Leagues, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Curt Flood, and so many others. Learning about them led me to learning about their important predecessors in the Negro Leagues, Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, Cool Papa Bell to name a few. Having an opportunity to make a film about the Negro Leagues is one of those opportunities I could not resist.

Along with archival footage that shows when the MLB broke racial barriers in the 1940s, interviews with Negro League players Hank Aaron, Buck O’Neil, Monte Irvin, and Willie Mays will also appear in the film.

The League explores Black baseball as an economic & social pillar of Black communities and a stage for some of the greatest athletes ever, while also examining the unintended consequences of racial integration,” the synopsis reads.

Watch the trailer below.

The League - Official Trailer | Directed by Sam Pollard | Executive Produced by Questlovewww.youtube.com