Troy Maxson, a former baseball player in the Negro Leagues, compares much of life to a game of baseball. In baseball, players get three chances, and Troy often feels cheated because he has not gotten even a second chance to undo the mistakes he has made in his life. He sees a connection between his lack of opportunity and the color of his skin. He wants to protect Cory from making the same mistakes he made, including playing sports:
Troy: "The white man ain't gonna let you get nowhere with that football noway." (1.3)
This is why Troy becomes so angry with Cory when he finds out Cory has lied to him about working at the A&P. To Troy, being a black man in America does not equate to having a fair chance at one's goals, so Troy wants Cory to focus on making a living rather than dreaming about football. In Troy's own way, he is trying to protect Cory from being let down. Cory ignores Troy by staying on the football team instead of focusing on working, and when Troy find out, this is his "first...
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