In honor of Black History Month, Inspired Body By Bell is excited to highlight a few black athletes who changed the game and inspired the world. May we all be reminded that a healthy mind, body, and soul can make an amazing difference in our lives and others.
Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in one of America’s favorite sports, and became one of the true forefathers of the American Civil Rights Movement. He led the Dodgers to their first and only World Series title in 1955.
With one of the most incredible home run records in his game, Hank Aaron has excelled in Baseball and Business alike. Aaron holds several records and career statistics making him one of the greatest players of all time.
Tiger, Tiger, Tiger, Tiger woods y’all!! Tiger Woods has won 14 major tournaments, the second most all-time. He has Inspired a generation of young black Americans to pursue a generally white spotted sport and his career record has served as an extremely powerful influence in the game of golf.
Wilma Rudolph paved the way for Black female track and field athletes. Rudolph was diagnosed with polio, but overcame that adversity and won three gold medals during the 1960 Olympics.
So many want to be “like Mike” the super star player has acquired massive wealth with his name, the Jordan brand alone. In 2009 the brand became worth $1 Billion dollars. Did someone say our gifts and talents will make room for us?!
Curt Flood can be considered a Rosa Parks of sorts within the Baseball industry. When traded by the Cardinals to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1969, Mr. Flood refused to report to the team because of the disrespect he experienced of being informed of the trade. Due to his taking a major stand on the issue, the MLB implemented the 10/5 rule, which allows any player with ten years of MLB service, the last five with the same team, to veto any trade. Way to go Curt!
Early in his golf career, Charlie Sifford could only compete in tournaments organized by fellow black golfers, but he didn’t stop there. Overlooking blatant racism and multiple death threats he continued to play, and eventually broke through the barriers and joined the PGA tour in 1961 with several TOP 10 finishes and wins in both the Los Angeles and the Hartford open.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee was not only a star basketball player with UCLA, she’s a six-time Olympic gold medalist in track and field, she is literally the greatest of all time in her game. Off the track she started the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation which provides athletic resources to at-risk families in the St. Louis area.
Venus and Serena Williams
Ok, yes these are two separate people but these sistas are a force to be reckoned with and have been ever since they entered the game of Tennis officially. Between them they have between them they have so many grand slams, gold medals and Wimbledon wins they’ve literally dominated the game.
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. He’s pretty, real pretty! Muhammad Ali has made his mark on the world in multiple ways. After winning a gold medal in the 1960 Olympics, and going on to beat his share of heavy weight champs, Mr Ali refused to be drafted in the Vietnam war and has been an outspoken voice in cultural and civil rights.
Can you name any more great black athletes who have changed the game on the field and off? Feel free to Share your thoughts on this at the Inspired Body By Bell fan page. Happy Black History Month!
For more info on Black Athletes who changed the game visit complex for the full post.