25 Black Athletes Who Changed the World

Jose Martinez in Complex:

JackCould you imagine sports without the Williams sisters or LeBron James? It's pretty difficult to picture, huh? But, as we all know, there once was a time when black athletes weren't allowed to be on the same playing field as white people. Fortunately, there were African-American players who ignored the racial slurs and death threats that were hurled their way and focused on making the sports world a better, equal place. As time progressed, there become exceptional athletes like Michael Jordan andTiger Woods, who further solidified African-Americans' place among the best to ever play in their respective sport. We take a look at those that forever changed the game, past and present. From the aforementioned names of Jordan and Woods to legends like Jackie Robinson and Althea Gibson, these are 25 Black Athletes Who Changed the World.

Jack Johnson

Sport (Years Played): Boxing (1897-1938)
After becoming the first black heavyweight boxing champion, Jack Johnson faced the undefeated white boxer James Jeffries in 1910. Before they met in the ring, Jeffries took a personal jab at Johnson saying that he was “going into this fight for the sole purpose of proving that a white man is better than a Negro.” But in the 15th round of their match, Jack knocked his opponent out and handed Jeffries the first loss of his career. The result triggered riots across the U.S.

More here. (Note: At least one post will be dedicated to honor Black History Month throughout February)