Whether you like it or not, sports have a major effect on American society and over the years there have been many athletes that have accomplished feats that no others could.
Whether on the field or off, these select teams and individuals have made an impact in their communities and around the world.
Aug. 21 1986 – Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt is born in Sherwood Content, Jamaica. Bolt is widely known as the fastest man on the planet and has won the gold medal in the 100 meter and 200 meter dash in three straight Olympics since 2008. He holds the world record of 9.58 seconds in the 100 meter and 19.19 in the 200 meter. Both were set at the 2009 world championships in Berlin.
Aug. 25 1920 – Swimmer Ethelda Bleibtrey, became the first U.S woman to win a gold medal in the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. In 1919, she was arrested for “nude swimming” when she removed her stockings at a pool where it was forbidden to bare “the lower female extremities for public bathing.” The ensuing public support for Bleibtrey led to the removal of stockings as a conventional element in women’s swimwear.
Aug. 25 1968 – American tennis player, Arthur Ashe became the first African American male to win the U.S Mens Amateur championship and only two weeks later became the first and still today, the only African American male to win the U.S Open. In 1993, ESPN’s annual sports awards, the ESPY Awards, began the Arthur Ashe Courage award. Each year, a member of the sports world who best exhibits courage in the face of adversity receives the award.
Aug. 26 2016 – Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneels in protest during the US national anthem at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium while playing against the San Diego Chargers. The protest objected to racial injustice and police brutality in the United States. Since then, many athletes have joined Kaepernick but the protest’s true motives have been hijacked by naysayers who believe the protest is in opposition of the U.S military and the U.S flag.