Making a career in sports is a tough task. Some players taste success easily while many others have to struggle a lot. There are numerous such athletes who fight it out in the sporting arena to prove their worth. But above all of them are a few players who not only make records and history for themselves but also change the history of the game.
Below are listed 10 of such athletes who made it big despite numerous obstacles and changed the history of their sport.
Despite the fact that Curt Flood, the center fielder for St. Louis Cardinals lost his case against Major league baseball in 1972, his actions led to beginning of era of free agent. The case was about the clause that the team will own the player until they let him go. Eventually, Curt received NAACP Jackie Robinson Award in 1992.
Joe was the first Black origin athlete to get appreciation in United States. His best career point came when he overcame the boxing defeat with Max Schmeling in a rematch in 1938. He was the top boxing champion from 1937 to 1949.
Billie Jean King can be considered as the crusader for getting women an equal status is sports. She won six Wimbledon single champion titles and also defeated Wimbledon champion Bobby Riggs.
Jesse Owens career began when he was able to make national records for long jump in high school. During Summer Olympics in Berlin in 1936, Jesse was able to win four gold medals in track and field. He also received Congressional Gold Medal from President George H.W Bush in 1990.
The achievements of Charlie Sifford are no less for the fact that he began his golf career as a young caddy in North Carolina. He also won UGA National Negro Open five times before he was able to win PGA tour.
Althea Gibson deserves mention because she was an African-American woman who achieved success in both tennis and golf. She clinched the French Open in 1956 and followed the same with Wimbledon and U.S Open wins in 1957 and 1958 respectively.
Frederick Pollard was the first black person to play for Rose Bowl in the year 1915. He later coached NFL teams in Milwaukee until 1926. NFL segregated in 1926 and Frederick fought against this decision till 1937.
Babe Didrikson was a real sporting talent and was master of multiple sports including track and field, golf, baseball, basketball and tennis. She won around 82 tournaments and was played a detrimental role in formation of Ladies Professional Golf Association.
Muhammad Ali born Cassius Clay was a born fighter and had been named as Sportsman of 20th Century by BBC and Sports Illustrated. He won a Olympic medal for boxing in 1960 and was a heavyweight champion.
Jackie Robinson was the first black player to play for Major League Baseball Team since its segregation in 1889. He was also inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. A movie starring Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman was also made on his life.