African American Impact on Sports
“A life is not important except in the impact it has on others’ lives. ” This quote was said by Jackie Robinson who was important in paving the way for other black athletes in professional sports. He was the first black baseball player to play in Major League Baseball. What would professional sports be without all the greatest black athletes such as Michael Jordan, Muhammad All or Jackie Robinson? Today the NAB is filled with a large majority of African American players. The NAB would be nothing without those players.
Muhammad All was a boxer, businessman and social activist for equal rights for all races.He wanted equal opportunities for all men, regardless of color, to be successful. Michael Jordan was considered the best basketball player of all time with five regular season Most Valuable Player awards along with three all-star Maps. He had a huge impact on the sport, dominating it from the mid 8(Yes through the late ass’s. Professional sports and society would not be the Same without them. African American athletes, including Jackie Robinson, Jim Brown, Muhammad All, Michael Jordan and others had a huge impact on American society and sports such as baseball, boxing basketball and football.Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born on January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia.
Throughout his 10 year long career he was constantly fighting for more rights for blacks in sports and society. Jackie was the first African American to play in Major League baseball. He was the youngest of five children who were raised in poverty by a single mother. Him and his family already had a hard life even aside from all the racism they faced living in the south in the early 1 ass’s. His older brother Matthew was one of his biggest inspirations for him to PUrSUe his talent in athletics.Matthew won an Olympic silver medal in the 1 936 Olympic games. After high school Jackie went to the University of California where he lettered in four different varsity sports.
Before he could graduate he had to drop out for financial reasons. He then went on to play semi-pro football in Hawaii, but the season was cut short due to the starting of World War II. For two years he served as a lieutenant in the United States Army. However he was arrested for not moving to the back of a interracial bus. The charges were later dropped and he was given an honorable discharge. He had a lot of courage and was very against segregation.After his discharge he laded professional baseball in the negro leagues.
But because of Robinsons great success he was soon hired by Branch Rickety to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers, in the white league. Branch knew Jackie would be facing severe racism but told him to fight it and stay strong. Throughout his career Robinsons courage was tested. Even many of his teammates were against his playing on their team. Jackie and his family received many threats and criticism. Despite all this adversity Robinson still was extremely successful and was leading the AAA league with a . 349 batting average and .
985 fielding argental.This success got him promoted to the ML and the first game a black player ever played in an ML game was April 15, 1947. The harassment continued. Many teams threatened to not sit out against the dodgers and even some of his own teammates threatened to not play. However Dodgers Manager Leo Drencher told his other players that he would trade them before Robinson. Leo had a very strong loyalty to him. Some people defended Jackie including baseball commissioner Happy Chandler and league president Ford Brick.
Jackie Robinson was successful in showing how talented a player e was by being able to push through all the racism and adversity.His first year he helped the Dodgers win the National League pennant. He also led the league in stolen bases and won the Rookie of the year award. In the 1949 season he had a . 342 batting average and led the league once again in stolen bases. This led to him being named the National league’s Most Valuable Player. All these impressive feats led him to be labeled as a hero of the sport.
“Robinson also became a vocal champion for African-American athletes, civil rights, and other social and political causes. In July 1949, he testified on scarification before the House Un-American Activities Committee.In 1 952, he publicly called out the Yankees as a racist organization for not having broken the color barrier five years after he began playing with the Dodgers. ” He was very active in social activism for blacks rights. His biggest focus was impacting others lives. Which is shown in this quote said by Jackie Robinson, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on others’ lives. ” He had a great impact on many peoples lives successfully completing his life goal.
After Jackie died his wife created the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which provides nouns students with mentoring programs and scholarships.This program has given 50 million dollars in scholarship money to students across the country. This program was described in the New York Times as, ‘ that might be the best educational effort in the country. ” Jackie was one Of the most influential people on the lives of young people especially young black athletes. Without him this country would not be the same. Cassias Marcella Clay, now known as Muhammad All, was born in Louisville, Kentucky on January 1 7, 1942. “He has shown throughout his life that he is not afraid of any fight-?inside or outside the ring.
Growing up in the segregated South, All experienced firsthand the prejudice and discrimination that African-Americans faced during this era. ” He faced racial discrimination head on and it even help Muhammad discover his talent in boxing. When All was 12 his bike was stolen and he told a police officer ‘that he wanted to beat up the thief. Well, you better learn how to fight before you start challenging people, the officer said. ” This police officer also owned a gym and trained boxers and took Muhammad under his wing and trained him. His first fight ever was in 1954 and was an mature fight that he won by split decision.Only 6 years later he won an Olympic gold medal.
Then in 1 964 he claimed the throne as heavyweight champion of the world. Soon after Cassias turned changed his religion to Muslim and changed his name to Muhammad All. Later All created a lot of controversy in the government by refusing to fight in the war after being drafted. Alias reason was that “he was a practicing Muslim minister, and that his religious beliefs prevented him from fighting in the Vietnam War. ” (Bio) The government took All to court and he was found guilty of “refusing to join the military.All appealed the ruling and after a long court battle the ruling was overturned. However the boxing association still took away Alias titles and suspended him.
In 1970 he returned to the ring. That year All took part in what was called the fight of the century. This fight was between All and Joe Frazier, two of the greatest veering in boxing. After 15 rounds of brutal boxing Frazier bested Muhammad in knockout fashion. Later in 1974 they had a rematch and All got revenge by beating Frazier. His last ever fight was a loss to Tremor Berwick to lose his Heavyweight title in 1 981.He announced his retirement in a press conference following the fight.
After his retirement he still was very involved in the community and become a great philanthropist. Over the years he has been involved in many charitable activities such as the Special Olympics and the Make a Wish Foundation. He was also extremely active in fighting for equal rights for African Americans. “Outside of boxing, Alias message of black pride and black resistance paved the way for the civil rights movement. ” (skyline) More recently in 2005 he was given the Medal of Freedom by George Bush. Bush also created theMuhammad All Center in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Alias thoughts on this building are “Many fans wanted to build a museum to acknowledge my achievements.
Wanted more than a building to house my memorabilia. Wanted a place that would inspire people to be the best that they could be at whatever they chose to do, and to encourage them to be respectful of one another. ” (BIO) Muhammad All is arguable the greatest, and most inspirational men ever. He was constantly helping people and working to make lives better for those around him. These great men have influenced the lives of an uncountable amount of people.