African Americans in Sport

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    African Americans in Sports

  • Frederick Douglass "Fritz" Pollard

    Frederick Douglass "Fritz" Pollard
    In 1916, Fritz Pollard became the first African American to play in the Rose Bowl and the first to be named All-American. He went on to a seven-year career in the NFL with Akron Pros as player. In 1923, he made another breakthrough when named head coach of the Akron Pros. He would be the only African-American head coach in NFL history until 1989, three years after his death.
  • Louise Stokes

    Louise Stokes
    Louise Stokes and Tydia Pickett were the first African-American women to be included on a U.S. Olympic team. Both qualified for track and field events; however, they remained on the bench because the coach entered only white team members in the events. The main reason was because of the African Americans were not yet sought to be worth enouch to participate yet.
  • Kenny Washington

    Kenny Washington
    The Los Angeles Rams became the first integrated team in the NFL. This happened when they signed Kenny Washington. On May 7, 1947, they signed a second African-American player, Woody Strode. This made a big stride in the NFL on the intigration of African American males.
  • Donald Barksdale

    Donald Barksdale
    UCLA's Donald Barksdale, the first African American named to a U.S. Olympic basketball team. He went on to win a gold medal with the basketball team. He was also the first African American to be named a consensus All-American. A high school fact is that he was cut his first 3 years because of only one African American player was allowed by the coach on the team.
  • Oscar Johnson

    Oscar Johnson
    In August 1948, African-American tennis junior, Oscar Johnson, played in the National Junior Public Parks championships in Griffith Park, Los Angeles. In December of the same year he competed in the National Junior Indoor championships in St. Louis. He alsowas the first African American to win the USLTA tournament. He then later got drafted for the Korean war.
  • Joe Louis

    Joe Louis
    Boxer Joe Louis became the first African American to play in a PGA sanctioned event. He was also instrumental in finding The First Tee, a charity for underprivilidged children. He was also a boxer before he started golf.
  • James Harris

    James Harris
    James Harris became the first African-American quarterback to be a starter in the NFL, throwing for the Los Angeles Rams. He led the rams to their second straight division title. He also led the rams to their first playoff win. He later was name the conference title game MVP and named to the Pro Bowl.
  • Charlie Sampson

    Charlie Sampson
    In 1982, Charlie Sampson became the first African-American world champion rodeo bullrider. The 134-pound "Mighty Mite" also won the Winston Rodeo the same year. He was a two time Grand National Rodeo champion as well. He was named to the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1996.
  • Doug Williams

    Doug Williams
    Doug Williams became the first African-American quarterback to lead his team, the Washington Redskins, to the Super Bowl championship. The game's MVP, Williams defeated the Denver Broncos 42-10. This was the high point of his career. He soon was plagued by injuries and his career soon ended.
  • Art Shell

    Art Shell
    n 1989, Art Shell became the first African-American coach in the NFL, taking charge of the Los Angeles Raiders. His record was 54-38. He was coach of the year in 1990. He also led the Raiders to the AFC Championship game that year.
  • Tiger Woods

    Tiger Woods
    Tiger Woods 1997 MastersIn 1997, California-born Tiger Woods became the first golfer of African-American heritage to win the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. He also became the first African-American golfer to win the PGA Championship, the U.S. Open, and the British Open. In capturing the Masters for a second time in 2001, Woods completed golf's Grand Slam to become the only golfer ever to hold all four majors championships at the same time.
  • Barry Bonds

    Barry Bonds
    Barry Bonds 73rd Homern On October 7, 2001 in Pacific Bell Park, San Francisco, San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds hit his 73rd home run of the season, surpassing previous recordholder Mark McGwire's mark of 70 home runs. He also broke the career homerun record with 762 homeruns.