Fight The Power! A History Of Black Pride Moments In Sports

Fight The Power! A History Of Black Pride Moments In Sports


Way before athletes received suspensions for their bullshit antics (we see you T.O. and Ocho Cinco) or were too afraid to make political statements for fear that they may lose endorsements (you too, Lebron and Kobe), there were athletes willing to risk everything including their safety to stand up for their beliefs. These moments and the athletes who created them contributed greatly to The Civil Rights Movement.

The unforgettable stands that were taken include everything from embarrassing Hitler by stuntin' at the Olympics in Nazi Germany to literally knocking out white supremacists. So in honor of Black History month, let's look back on some pioneering moments in sports...

FIGHT OF THE CENTURY
WHO: Boxer Jack Johnson
WHEN: July 4, 1910 in Reno, Nevada
MOMENT: Johnson, the first black heavyweight boxing champion was challenged for his title by the white former undefeated heavyweight champion, James Jeffries. Prior to the fight Jeffries said ""I am going into this fight for the sole purpose of proving that a white man is better than a Negro." Johnson won by TKO in the 15th round. Even back then, statements like that got you knocked the fuck out.

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OWENS IS GOLDEN
WHO: Track and Field Olympian Jesse Owens
WHEN: August 9, 1936 in Berlin, Germany
MOMENT: That year's summer Olympics were hosted by Adolf Hitler, who attempted to prove Nazi Germany's racial supremacy. Owens proved that theory to be bullshit when he racked up four gold medals. Needless to say Hitler was conspicuously absent for the medal presentations. What's German for bitchassness?

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JACKIE BREAKS MLB COLOR LINES
WHO: Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers
WHEN: April 15, 1947 in Brooklyn, NY
MOMENT: Robinson made his debut as the first black major league player of the modern era in the Dodgers 1947 home-opener. Despite racism from some fans, opposing players, and even his own teammates, Robinson won Rookie of the Year honors that season. Just like the city he played for—Jackie went hard. Pause.

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BILL RUSSELL BECOMES FIRST BLACK HEAD COACH IN NBA
WHO: Bill Russell, Boston Celtics
WHEN: October 15, 1966 in Boston, MA
MOMENT: After Bill Russell had won nine championships in ten seasons with the team, Celtics head coach Red Auerbach retired and named Russell as player-coach. He essentially became the first black head coach in NBA history and professionals sports. Russell coached the team to another two championships in three seasons as player-coach. That's 11 championships in 13 years of play! Fuck being a player-coach, Boston should have made him the mayor.

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ALI REFUSES TO GO TO VIETNAM
WHO: Boxer Muhammad Ali
WHEN: April 28,1967 in Houston, TX
MOMENT: Ali, the then heavyweight champion was stripped of his title and sentenced to five years in jail (although he didn't end up serving time) when he refused to join the Army because of his religious beliefs and opposition to the Vietnam War. "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong ... They never called me nigger," said Ali. After being kept out of the ring for three years during his prime, Ali came back for the title like he never left. No biggie, he's the king.

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Tags: black-history, jackie-robinson, jesse-owens, john-carlos, muhammad-ali, tommie-smith
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