African Americans in Sports

  • Fritz Pollard

    Fritz Pollard
    The first African American Head Coach of the NFL was Frederick "Fritz" Pollard. Before being named head coach in 1921, Fritz was extremely successful. Playing for Brown University, he was the first African American to play in the Rose Bowl. He was later inducted into the Hall of Fame for his legendary work
  • DeHart Hubbard

    DeHart Hubbard
    William "DeHart" Hubbard was the first African American to take home an Olympic gold Medal. During the 1924 summer Olympics in Paris, France, Hubbard's long jump mark reached lengths of 24 feet 5 1/2 in. He will forever be remembered as a forerunner for African American Olympians
  • Los Angeles Rams

    Los Angeles Rams
    After moving the team from Cinncinati to Los Angeles in January of 1946, the Rams had to agree to integrate in order to be granted approval to play in the Los Angeles Colliseum. March 21, 1946, Kenny Washington was signed to the Los Angeles Rams, being the first NFL team to become integrated.
  • Jackie Robinson

    Jackie Robinson
    Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers becoming the first African American in the modern era of Major League BaseBall. Over his career he played in six World Series, recipient of the MLB Rookie of the Year award, and inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame just to list a few of his numerous accomplishments.
  • Tennessee State Tigers

    Tennessee State Tigers
    The first Historically Black College to win a national championship after defeating Southeastern Oklahoma to win the NAIA title. The Tennessee State Tigers were coached by John B. McLendon.
  • Ernie Davis

    Ernie Davis
    Ernie Davis was the first African American man to win the Heisman trophy. He also earned the MVP title for both the Cotton Bowl of 1960 and the 1961 Liberty Bowl. Tragically, a year after being the first African American #1 NFL Draft pick, Ernie died of cancer.
  • Bill Russell

    Bill Russell
    Bill Russell: Skills and RivalsBill Russell became the first African American to head coach a NBA team after taking over the role for the Boston Celtics. Bill Russell may be one of NBA's most decorated athletes with a Hall of Fame induction, 5 time NBA MVP, and 8 consecutive NBA Championships. He is a living NBA legend.
  • Val James

    Val James
    Val James is most noted for being the first African American to play in the NHL. As a left-wing for the Buffalo Sabres, he paved the way for future black americans to take notice to the sport of Hockey
  • Tiger Woods

    Tiger Woods
    At just 21 years old, Tiger Woods became the first African American golfer to win the Masters Tournament. That day in August, Georgia, Tiger amazed crowds by shooting 18-under-par. Woods has also been awarded PGA Player of the year ten times and has won 16 World Golf Championships
  • ITF Year-End World Champions

    ITF Year-End World Champions
    Venus and Serena Williams were named the 2009 Women's Double's World Champions, also becoming the first African American team to accomplish this. By winning 3 grand slam titles at the Wimbledon, US, and Austrailian Opens, the William sisters are forever noted in tennis history books.