African Americans in Sports

Timeline created by jmelton3
In History
  • Jockey-Issac Murphy (1879-1891)

    Jockey-Issac Murphy (1879-1891)
    Isaac Murphy was the first African American to win three Kentucky Derbies and won an astonising 44% of all races he rode. Isaac Murphy rode in eleven Kentucky Derbies, winning three times: on Buchanan in 1884, Riley in 1890, and Kingman in 1891.He is considered one of the greatest riders in American Thoroughbred horse racing history.
  • Boxing Jack Johnson (1908-1915)

    Boxing Jack Johnson (1908-1915)
    John Arthur Johnson, better known as Jack Johnson and nicknamed the “Galveston Giant”, was an American boxer and arguably the best heavyweight of his generation. He was the first black Heavyweight Champion of the World (1908-1915)
  • Olympics - Doc Taylor (1908)

    Olympics -  Doc Taylor (1908)
    John Baxter 'Doc" Taylor was the first African-American track and field champion in 1907.He was notable as the first African American to win an Olympic gold medal. He was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, and the most prominent African American member of the Irish American Athletic Club. He was a member of the Sigma Pi Phi, the first black fraternity.
  • Football- Fritz Pollard (1920-1930)

    Football- Fritz Pollard (1920-1930)
    Fritz Pollard 1st black All-America RB (1916 at Brown); 1st black to play in Rose Bowl; 7-year NFL pro (1920-26); 1st black NFL coach, at Milwaukee and Hammond, Ind.In 2005, Fritz Pollard was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He appears as a free agent in Madden NFL 09 and is also a part of the game's Hall of Fame feature.
  • Olympics -Jesse Ownes (1936)

    Olympics -Jesse Ownes (1936)
    Jesse Owens set seven world records during his career which earned him four gold medals at the 1937 Olympics in Berlin, Germany.He was the most successful athlete at the 1936 Summer Olympics, a victory more poignant and often noted because Adolf Hitler had intended the 1936 games to showcase his Aryan ideals and prowess.
  • Baseball-Jackie Robinson (1947-1956)

    Baseball-Jackie Robinson (1947-1956)
    Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson was an American baseball player who became the first black Major League Baseball (MLB) player of the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.
  • Baseball

    In 1953, Toni Stone not only became the first woman to play as a regular on a big-league professional baseball team, the Negro American League's Indianapolis Clowns, but she also played one of the most difficult positions, second base. Although Stone's professional baseball career was brief, her affiliation with the game spanned over fifty years.
  • NFL-Willie Thrower

    NFL-Willie Thrower
    Willie Thrower became NFL's first African-American quarterback when he appeared in a game for the Chicago Bears on Oct. 18, 1953; never appeared in another game and it would be 15 years before another African-American quarterback would take a snap in a pro game; cut by the Bears the next year and played in the Canadian Football League until a separated shoulder forced him to retire at age 27; led Michigan State to national championship in 1952
  • Tennis- Althea Gibson (1956-1958)

    Tennis- Althea Gibson (1956-1958)
    In 1948 Althea Gibson won the first of 10 straight national black women's singles championships. She was the first African American to play in the U.S. grass court championships at Forest Hills, N.Y. (1950), and at Wimbledon, England (1951).
  • NHL-Willie O'Ree (1958)

    NHL-Willie O'Ree (1958)
    Willie O'Ree became hockey's version of Jackie Robinson on Jan. 18, 1958, when he made his NHL debut with the Boston Bruins. Despite being legally blind in his right eye (due to an errant puck that felled him two years earlier - a trait he kept secret), O'Ree rocketed through juniors and the minors, and reached the pinnacle of the hockey world.
  • Boxing-Muhammad Ali (1960-1981)

    Boxing-Muhammad Ali (1960-1981)
    Muhammad Ali has undoubtedly been a fixture in world culture since the 1960's. Seizing the gold medal at the Olympics in 1960, battling George Foreman in "The Rumble in the Jungle" in Zaire, and going head to head with Joe Frazier in "The Thrilla in Manila" in the Philippines, were highlights of a career that earned Ali the status of world icon.
  • Track & Field- Wilma Rudoplh (1960-1965)

    Track & Field- Wilma Rudoplh (1960-1965)
    Wilma Glodean Rudolph was an American athlete. Rudolph was considered the fastest woman in the world in the 1960s and competed in two Olympic Games, in 1956 and in 1960.
    A track and field champion, she elevated women's track to a major presence in the United States. She is also regarded as a civil rights and women's rights pioneer
  • Track & Field (1980s)

    Track & Field  (1980s)
    Florence Delorez Griffith-Joyner also known as Flo-Jo, was an American track and field athlete. She is considered the "fastest woman of all time" based on the fact that she still holds the world record for both the 100 metres and 200 metres, both set in 1988 and never seriously challenged.
  • Basketball-Micheal Jordan (1984-2003)

    Basketball-Micheal Jordan (1984-2003)
    Michael Jeffrey Jordan is a retired American professional basketball player, active entrepreneur, and majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time. Jordan was one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation and was considered instrumental in popularizing the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Track & Field -Jackie Joyner-Kersee_(1984-2000)

    Track & Field -Jackie Joyner-Kersee_(1984-2000)
    Jackie Joyner- Kersee is one of the greatest female athletes in history where she has won a silver medal in the heptathlon in the 1984 Olympics and gold medals in the 1988 and 1992 games. She has also won a gold medal in the long jump in 1988 and a bronze at the 1992.
  • Figure Skating-Debi Thomas (1986)

    Figure Skating-Debi Thomas (1986)
    Debra Janine "Debi" Thomas Thomas won both the 1986 U.S. national title and the 1986 World Championships; those achievements earned Thomas the ABC's Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year award that year. She was the first female athlete to win those titles while attending college full time since Tenley Albright in the 1950s. She was the first African-American to hold U.S. National titles in ladies' singles figure skating.
  • Golf Champion-Tiger Woods (1997-Present)

    Golf Champion-Tiger Woods (1997-Present)
    Eldrick "Tiger" Woods Woods won the U.S. and British opens and PGA Championship, setting or tying several records in the process and becoming the youngest of only five golfers to achieve a career Grand Slam. Woods's victory at the Masters in 2001 made him the first golfer to win all four major professional championships in a row.
  • Tennis-Venus and Serena Williams (2002-Present)

    Tennis-Venus and Serena Williams (2002-Present)
    Serena and Venus Williams are the only sibilings in the history of tennis to face-off in four consecutive Grand Slam finals. Both sisters had the honor of being ranked by the Women's Tennis Association at the World No. 1 position. In 2002, after the French Open, Venus Williams and Serena Williams were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. During the 2010 French Open, they became the Number 1 team in Doubles, in addition to holding the top two positions in Singles tennis as well.
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    African Americans In Sports