Today marks the start of Black History Month. Each Monday, through the LIDS Social Community, we hope to spark conversation around the great African-American sports figures who have spearheaded change and influenced the lives of many. Please, join in the conversation by using the hashtag – #HonoringHistory – with us.
This week’s #HonoringHistory post focuses on 3 greats who shaped the way sports figures and celebrities utilize their platform to spur change.
Need we even explain? It seems as if every athlete who has a passion for human rights mentions being motivated in some way shape or form by Jackie Robinson. Wearing number 42 for the Brooklyn Dodgers, his triumph and composure while breaking through barriers is heralded to this day.
We hope you join us in recognizing his efforts on Jackie Robinson Day coming up in April.
(Learn more about the Jackie Robinson Foundation here.)
Drafted first overall by the Cleveland Browns is probably far from his most proud accomplishment if you ask Jim Brown. He was known as one of the best all-around athletes to ever live, but he wanted to be known for more than just becoming wealthy based on physical talent.
Jim Brown founded, led, and drove many endeavors that fought for the inclusion of minorities in business, public service, and even movie making. It would be nearly impossible to count the amount of lives touched by the actions by Jim Brown.
(Find out more about Jim Brown’s Amer-I-Can Program.)
It’d be hard to say enough about Muhammad Ali that he hasn’t already said himself. However, most of his charitable acts and activism efforts fell under the radar compared to his accomplishments in the ring.
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.”
Ali is most known for the sting he’d put on opponents in the ring, but his impact on others extends from his refusal to be inducted into the U.S. Army to the Muhammad Ali Center that is open today to promote the six core principles of Muhammad Ali.
(Find out more here.)
Sports and sport culture would not be where they are today without the three athletes listed above. Thank you for helping us honor history and these 3 great men today.
Who are some of your role models you’d like to recognize for #BlackHistoryMonth? Tweet us using #HonoringHistory or mention them in the comments below.