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 Ali or Jackie Robinson? Today the NBA is filled with a large majority of African American players. The NBA would be nothing without those players. Muhammad Ali 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
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When Ali 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 amatuer fight that he won by split decision. Only 6 years later he won an olympic gold medal. Then in 1964 he claimed the throne as heavyweight champion of the world. Soon after Cassius turned changed his religion to Muslim and changed his name to Muhammad Ali.
Later Ali created a lot of controversy in the government by refusing to fight in the war after being drafted. Ali’s 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 Ali to court and he was found guilty of “refusing to join the military.” Ali appealed the ruling and after a long court battle the ruling was overturned. However the boxing association still took away Ali’s titles and suspended him. In 1970 he returned to the ring. That year Ali took part in what was called the fight of the century. This fight was between Ali and Joe Frazier, two of the greatest evering in boxing. After 15 rounds of brutal boxing Frazier bested Muhammad in knockout fashion. Later in 1974 they had a rematch and Ali got revenge by beating Frazier. His last