African Americans aren’t the most dedicated fans only, but they play sports with passion and determination like nothing else. When we look at Muhammad Ali, Bo Jackson, Maya Moore, Arthur Ashe, Moses Malone, and Hank Aaron, what do we see? Not just black athletes in sports but people who served a much deeper purpose in society.
How the Black Athletes in Sports Changed the World?
Just like the rest of society, American professional sports were also dominated by racial segregation in the early 20th century. Major League Baseball didn’t allow African Americans to play until Jackie Robinson took charge to break the implicit social code, ending the six-decade ban and paving the way for other such future opportunities.
But as Jackie Robinson the only one on the front lines, transforming American sports and writing the names of the black community on the professional league record books?
Black Athletes in Sports Who Changed History
Let’s list the names and contributions of all those black athletes in sports who integrated professional sports ad made an impact on society.
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” Muhammad Ali shook the boxing world with his light tread rather than pummeling punches. He didn’t just inspire the whole world with his agility, courage, and rock-solid belief but made the Americans observe and think about race in a new light. Ali had to suffer several blows to his career by not backing down in front of racial injustice, but that actually made him “The Greatest.” Charming and bold, Ali was a genius at using media to inspire hundreds of millions of people. He also dedicated his post-retirement years to pursuing the release of American hostages, delivering medical aid, and going on goodwill missions around the world.
Bo Jackson is one of the only professional athletes to become an All-Star in two sports – Major League Baseball and National Football League. Bo Jackson’s significance, unshakable faith, and legendary status are bigger than sports. He finished his four-year NFL career with 16 touchdowns and 2782 rushing yards, making the biggest impact on the field of football.
Muhammad Ali once called Hank Aaron “The only man I idolize more than myself.” However, he also broke racial and color barriers and actively spoke out against racism in major league baseball throughout his career.
Maya Moore is one of the most influential and powerful black athletes in sports who changed the world in favor of her community. Moore is the epitome of unwavering faith as she sidelined her extraordinary career to advocate for Jonathan Irons, a man sentenced on a burglary and assault conviction – crimes that he didn’t even commit. Maya Moore played as a forward for Minnesota Lynx but paused her career to focus on helping Irons until he walked out as a free man. She later married Jonathan Irons and still continues her work on being a strong voice for prosecutorial changes.
Jim was a player who didn’t just land in the Pro Football Hall of Fame but also worked as a civil rights activist and also an actor. He stepped forward and spoke boldly when black athletes in sports were reluctant to do so for fear of facing backlash.
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