50 Black athletes who reworked American sports activities | Buffalo Sports activities

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV, college basketball is in full swing and soon the teams will be reporting for spring training. When we hit the height of the sports craze when combined with Black History Month, it’s hard to ignore the impact black athletes have had on American history. For much of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, black athletes were prohibited from competing as professional athletes. But pioneers like Jackie Robinson and Althea Gibson have slowly overcome the color barriers in American sport and opened the floodgates for today’s stars.

Stacker compiled a list of 50 black athletes who transformed American sport using information from record books, statistical databases, museums, historical articles, and other sources. There are names in this list that you might expect, such as the incomparable Willie Mays, adored by legends like Ted Williams, but also pushing for baseball integration by organizing off-season trips with black ball players. Muhammad Ali’s achievements in the ring and off-the-ropes activism certainly earn him a place, but there are also pugilists like Jack Johnson, who was the world’s first black heavyweight champion. Despite his athletic prowess, Johnson was overshadowed by the enforcement of arcane laws for most of his life.

Do you know the name of the first black hockey player to play in the National Hockey League? What about the speed skater who made history at the 2006 Olympic Games or the former track star who became the Olympic bobsleigh champion? We’ll dig into these biographies and much more, paying attention to numbers that continue to influence American society.

Fifty names won’t do all pioneering black American athletes justice, but the performances of those included are sure to be inspiring. From overcoming disease to segregation, learn about the legends of American sport that are responsible for the way we see games today.

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