Muhammad AliFebruary was “Black History Month” and many paused to take a look back in history and sort out just who it was that really made a difference to their sport and to their race.

Today roughly 80% of NBA players and 70% of NFL players are African Americans. Let’s take a quick look back at some of the greatest athletes that ever played the game.

Henry “Hank” Aaron was a 25 time MLB All-Star.  Can anyone imagine any professional athlete lasting 25 seasons today?  Aaron is thought by many to be the greatest player in the history of the game of baseball and it is easy to see why. Although he never had a 50 home run season he finished his career with 755 homers.  It was in 1974 that he broke this, the most sacred record in all of sports, the most career home runs.  He also holds the all time RBI career record as well. All of this was accomplished amid rampant racial discrimination at the time and without the use of steroids or PEDs.

Tiger Woods was not your typical story of growing up poor and overcoming a bad environment to make good in the big leagues.  Tiger always had it pretty good.  He is the son of a Vietnamese mother and a Black American father.  Before he came onto the scene, there were no really big name black golfers on the PGA tour.  As a matter of fact, the public in general had very little interest in professional golf matches before Tiger broke into the big leagues.  With 14 majors under his belt and more projected for the future, Tiger Woods has become the second most accomplished golfer of all time.

Muhammad Ali told Howard Cosell and the sporting world that he would “Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.”  Ali did talk a lot….but he also backed it up.  He beat boxing greats like George Foreman and Joe Frazier while giving us some of the most memorable moments in boxing.  Many call Ali the greatest fighter that ever lived.

In the summer of 1936 Alabama’s Jesse Owens went to Berlin to compete in the Olympics in front of Adolf Hitler.  Hitler had bragged openly about how his Arian Athletes would show the world their natural superiority in the upcoming events.

Owens had other ideas.  He competed in 4 events and came away with 4 Olympic Gold Medals.


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