Breaking the Barrier
Jackie Robinson Breaks the Barrier
In October of 1945, Jackie Robinson made history. Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey had a “great experiment” that would change the world of sports forever. Jackie Robinson signed his contract with the Dodgers and became the first African-American to ever play for a Major League Baseball team. Not only did he pave the way for blacks to play baseball, but he became an immortal symbol of racial equality.
Jesse Owens’ Olympic Records
In 1936 Adolf Hitler was trying to use the Olympics in Berlin to help support his idea that Aryan athletes were superior. Jesse Owens was having none of that.
The African-American sprinter from Alabama had plans of his own and proceeded to break three world records while winning four gold medals in the 100-meter dash, 200 dash, 4-by-100 relay and the long jump.
Human Rights Salute
After Tommie Smith and John Carlos came in first and third in the 200-meter dash at the 1968 Summer Olympics, they both raised their fists as the United States national anthem was being played. This gesture came when the United States was in a period of tense civil unrest due to the state of race relations in the American society.
The platform of being a great athlete can help change the world, and these athletes, in particular, did a great job at making an impact on the race barrier.