Curt Flood

Sport (Years Played): Baseball (1956-1969, 1971)
When traded to the Philadelphia Phillies during the 1969 season, Curt Flood refused to report to the team. He felt so disrespected by his own organization because the Cardinals sent second-level personnel to inform him of the trade that he was willing to forfeit his $100,000 contract in order to become a free agent. By taking a stand for what he believed in, 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. Although true free agency wasn't granted to players until years later, Flood took a stand (and sacrificed his career) so that today's ballplayers could make the millions they do.