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History, Sport

Sports Through History Essay

Today, sports are known everywhere in the world. This paper involves on how an athletic, team or completion came to symbolize something more. Throughout history, athletes, teams, and events have reflected broader issues (Gems et al.). Sometimes they symbolize a pivotal movement for their sport. Other times they reflect broader societal or international issues.

Jack Johnson v. Jim Jeffries

This team symbolized fight against racism. In the 20th century, the first match in boxing which transcended the sport happened in Reno Nev, july 4, 1910. The7th man to have the heavyweight during the gloved period, Jack Johnson, was defeating the prior champion called Jim Jeffries.

Many factors made the Jack Johnson v. Jim Jeffries special. First, six years prior, Jim Jeffries, who governed from 1899 to 1904 retired without losing any fight. Many people esteemed him and considered the chief athlete in the universe. Second, two simple champions, Tommy Burns and Marvin Hart succeeded Jeffries (Davies). However, in 1908 December 26th the world of boxing changed in Sydney when burns his championship to Johnson. Unlike his forerunners Jack Johnson was a huge man, having 6 feet one and half inches as well as 200 pounds. At the same time he was a black man. After Jack Johnson defeating Burns and became a champion, the reactions of his countrymen saddened him. Instead of them rejoicing about the return of the championship to the land of America they denigrated Johnson. The white men started to look for a white man who can defeat him. Third, this giant Jack Johnson rose during the Post-Victorian period when all blacks were considered as second class people and inter-racial relationship were subjected to hostility. As a result a white man to replace him was highly required. However, Jack Johnson made successful defenses against the white challengers. Fourth, Jeffries became a farmer after retiring and had distended to around 3000 pounds. In he was weighing 210 pounds. As a result Jeffries agreed to meet Jack Johnson in the next championship and stated that he was responding to the call for a white man who was to defeat Johnson. However in many rounds of the competition Johnson defeated him (Leeds and Von Allmen). Finally Johnson lost it to jess in 1915 at Havana and later was jailed for his immoral behavior. Jefferies lost his legacy after losing the championship to Johnson and thus he is remembered for losing the fight and Johnson received the praise as the greatest defensive boxer during the overweight history.

Professional Basketball (the Rens)

The Rens is a great basketball team that served as a catalyst for societal equality. It was a team that won various championship even though it was not accepted social or professionally. This team was made of only blacks. The court was their next move when faced by various obstacles. Richard Lapchick the northeast university’s center director states that “they were literally the pioneers and recognized that were making a statement in front of the audiences”. And continues to say “and there were some audiences that did not like the statements”. The team started in 1922 and they complied many of their on-court actions. John Wooden, a couch who once placed against Rens bears witness that no team has ever played as the Rens in history. The tactics they used in handling the ball was amazing (Edelman and Wilson).

Bob Douglas, the black basketball father, founded the team at Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of the Fame. Douglas began to receive this reputation at 25 years old when he had organized two basketball amateur. It was at this time that he was not allowed to continue since the team included players that were being paid. This lead to the Rens birth.

Douglas made a deal with the Harlem’s Renaissance Casino 1923. This casino was opened in 1922. Therefore Douglas organized the black plays in basketball into group and accepted to refer this team as Renaissance thus provided the casino publicity. For instance many people came to dance and see this team that encompasses dancing in their team. This team was allowed to compete with other home teams. Hover it later became the greatest traveling team that has ever been in basketball.

Jesse Owens

Owen proved theories of Hitler about the race difference as wrong. In 1936, Olympics were complicated. The wrangle began when the Asians were not allowed to participate in the competition. “Whether or not the Olympic Games actually serve their purpose of promoting international understanding remains dubious,” TIME remarked the subsequent week.

Jesse Owen was the bright spot. In 1936 august 3th, track phenom of Ohio won a gold in the one hundred meters dash. This was after he set a record in that race the day earlier. Before the end of the week he had won a 200-m dash as well as long jump and aided bring to first place the relay.

Not everyone recognized the victories of Owens. Hitler eminently declined to congratulate Owens. Hitler came up with theories that were explaining why the host countries was defeated. Despite the trials to explain against this wins by the use of falsehoods, Owen proved theories of Hitler about the race difference as wrong.

After the death of Owen in 1980, TIME stated that Owens period on the track finally ended up being less significant than his historical timing. “At the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, which Adolf Hitler hoped would be a showcase of Aryan supremacy, Owens won four gold medals in track and field events, a feat not equaled since. The sight of the graceful American’s soaring victory in the long jump and his Olympic-record wins in the 100-and 200-meter dashes and 400-meter relay put the lie to der Führer’s simplistic myths about race.” Therefore, Owens was a hero in 1936 who disapproved the various myths relating to race.

Louis v Schmeling

The Max Schmeling and Joe Louis rematch was more than the mare boxing match. This match served as a pinnacle of the career of Louis and it is recalled as one of the main 20th century sport events.

As the U.S moved closer to the World War II, the rematch in 1938 between Schelling and Louis had a universal implication. In German, Adolf Hitler had risen to authority as well as his Jews persecution that resulted in Holocaust had started during 1935. By the 1938 spring, German had captured Australia as well as had centered its locations on Poland and Czechoslovakia.

Hilter preached Aryans racial superiority and conveniently showed Schmeling as the superiority symbol. Schmeling was born at Brandenburg in German. He won the unfilled vacancy of the heavyweight title in the world against his fouth-round foul, Jack Sharkey in 1930s June 13th. He won this title for a short time however he defeated people like Young Stribling, Mickey Walker as well as Johnny Risko. In 1936, June 19th he fought and knocked out by Louis during the 12th round of the fight (White and Houlihan).

The loss barely disrupted a brown bomber. After Jack Johnson, loius became the first black the win a heavyweight championship after knocking out James J. Braddock at the 8th round, 1937, June 22nd. Louis was not conteted by this and state that he should not be called a chsmpion till he revenges and readdresses his loss to the Max Schmeling. Therefore, Louis made some defenses as well as signed for another fight with one man who had defeated him.On june 22, 1938 the rematch was Lous pushed Schmeling into the robe and defeated him. He was paralysed and claimed to have obtained a kidney injury during the fight (Davies).

History remembers Max Schmelling as an image of Hitler of the Aryan supremacy. And in his autobiography he explains that every defeat has a reason and that made him a Third Reich toast.


According to history, baseball lost its innocence after the year 1919, nevertheless betting and other improper behaviour were well known. According to history Baseball has been described as unique event, which involved acts of throwing games which likely happened a lot more than once. In the scandal that occurred in the year 1919, it is estimated that the eight member of the Chicago white sox had agreed to use money from the gamblers which they used to throw the World Series (White and Houlihan).

Jim Braddock

In 1935 June 13th Jim Braddock defeated Max Baer, the champion who was reigning that symbolized German Jews’ Nazi persecution. This two men Jim Braddock and Max Baer were Americans. However, Max Baer used to wear a short that qwas bearing the name “the star of daving”. Max Baer’s father was a Jew but he grew up as a catholic, taking her mother’s religion. This star represented the Jewish people’s pride. Jim Braddock commonly called Cinderella man won this fight by only decision. He defeated Bear when the German Jews’ Nazi persecution was starting (Davies).

Jackie Robinson

On April 15th of 1947 Jack Robison took the Brooklyn Dodger’s field, racial isolation in main-league baseball that had lasted for more than six year came to an end. Jackie Robinson was born in Cairo, in January 31st of 1919, his life portrays r. The athletic talent of Robinson became manifest at a very early age. He joined various activities in high school as well as junior college such as track, football, baseball as well as basketball. He gained fame nationwide in 1940 as well as 1941 at UCLA. He became the major four-letter man of the school. He was refereed as “Jim Thorpe of his race” because of his many skills (White and Houlihan).

Jack Robison perhaps is a historically important baseball player. In terms of his effect on a national pastime is ranked with Babe who changed the way in which baseball was conducted. Jack Robison altered the American thinking. Robison was acknowledged first in the 12th century as the first black baseball player in the Main-league. He moved forward and became the first player to win the battle championship. Robison also was the first one to receive the Most Appreciated player’s award. He was the first to be initiated into the Hall of Fame Baseball. He won the official Rookies award of the year and was the first one to be featured on the postage camp of the United States as a baseball player, white or black (Gems et al.).

The statistic only rubbed the surface in determining Robison as the ballplayer. World War II and institutional racism prevented him from playing till he was 20 years of age. As a result his career lasted for only 10 seasons. His entire batting mean was around the solid .311, though because of his career shortness the cumulative statistic is comparatively uninspiring by the standards of Hall of Fame. However it is ironical that the difficulties of Robson in the military with the white resulted in his rising to the list of the Branch Rickey candidates. This ended portraying him as the color barrier of baseball. Robinson remains the unofficial African-American spokesman and the man who stood for various civil rights (Leeds and Von Allmen).

Pro Football

Pro football is one of the greatest gave that was ever placed symbolizing the increase of sports. A contest between New Yolk Giant and Baltimore Colts is the game that tilted this game pro football. This game was ushered from 1950s whereby the sports were less in terms of rating than horse racing. Football started overtaking the game that has been baseball National Pastime. Welling Mara states “Pete Rozelle always told me that the reason pro football took off was because that happened just at that time, in that season, and it happened in New York.” Pro football started to catch the United States’ general population in the beginning of the 20th century. It was an intense subject in terms of rivalry and competition, the localized nature albeit. Even though payment of players was considered un sport various teams hired players (White and Houlihan).

Althea Gibson

Althea Gibson in 1956 made a history when she became the first black person to win a French championship showing equality of different races. The following year she won Wimbledon making another history to both a first black as well as the first from the United States of America. Perhaps she must have wished to win the world wide award since she repeatedly participated in the tournament (White and Houlihan).

In the early years Althea Gibson as not allowed to participate in sports till after Jackie Robison playing in the major leagues. No black was allowed to play in the united state championship nationally. She was allowed to play at the age of 23 tennis thus she became the first black allowed to compete. His championship at Wimbledon the popular discrimination or color barrier that prevented the blacks from participating in various sports. She loved playing the attacking game. Therefore, she always played a good game in tennis that made color discrimination less effective in preventing the blacks from playing in sports (Davies).

1966 NCAA Championship: UTEP v Kentucky

The 1966 month of match NCAA Championship changed the world. This period was full of racial strife. All-black Texas Western and all-white Kentucky stepped into the basketball courts. During this period of election the leader of civil rights was moving around turning to separation as well as poverty in the line of Mason-Dixon. The game was played at the University of Maryland. The victory of the Texas Western turned this match into a great reappraisal. However the coach in Kentucky privately complained about this victory (Edelman and Wilson). The victory of the minors forced many question to raise in the sports arena proving integration resistant as Michael Cramer stated, the Texas Rangers as well as Dallas Stars former president. The work of jack Johnson enabled the blacks to get his way to the white boxing universe on the 20th century (Davies).

This victory resulted to realization that if those schools should not adopt the blacks they will not win any game. For instance, basketball, field, track, as well as football. The impact this games had on racial segregation would have not been released in their absence. As Cramer states that as a result of this games he had the opportunity to get into integrated schools and interact with the black children as well as played with them. Therefore, the 1966 month of match NCAA Championship changed the world and resulted in the integration of different ethnical people resulting in discrimination decrease (Edelman and Wilson).

John Carlos and Tommie Smith

Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who won bronze and gold respectively in a 200-m sprint, they raised the black-gloved fists in Mexico during the medal ceremony in 1968 symbolising a fight against injustice. This became one of the images of sports in the 20th century. These two athletes planned careful a protest. Any time the Smith as well as Carlos walked in to the stage they removed their shoes protesting against poverty. Similarly they wore scarfs and beads to object lynching. Whenever a national anthem was played they raised their gloved- first and lowered heads. This behavior rocked the universe. This acts had symbols. “I looked at my feet in my high socks and thought about all the black poverty I’d seen from Harlem to East Texas. I fingered my beads and thought about the pictures I’d seen of the ‘strange fruit’ swinging from the poplar trees of the South.” as it is recorded in the story of John Carlos therefore, the two showed that they were representing their country in the world of Olympics however they were ashamed of the thinks that were affecting their country such as poverty, racism and the slow movement of America to respond at this challenges. However, they were asked to leave the Olympic stage since this was against the laws and regulation of Olympic. Even after them leaving their images still exist because of the role they represented in making the sports have a different significant to the world (Davies).

Muhammad Ali

In April 28 of 1967, Muhammad Ali, the boxing champion, declined to be inducted to the Army of the United States of America promoting the civil rights. As a result he was immediately stripped his heavyweight championship. He was a Muslim and gave the religious reasons why he refused to get into the military forces. Not only his champion ship but also sentenced to 5 years in prison, a fine of 10000 dollars as well as banned from boxing. But later appealed this and was allowed to get back to the boxing and he won three time after even losing (Edelman and Wilson).

Roberto Clemente

Roberto Clemente was an all-time best play of baseball in 1970s. He worn different competition in baseball. He was a professional player all the time. Clemente received a national recognition in his career. Apart from the baseball achievement he as well receive recognition in other things especially his ethnic pride. Clemente was a Latino- American and he was proud of his work ethic. This made much impact in the world. Making his name to be written in various institutions such as schools and hospital (Gems et al.).

The Syracuse 8

The Syracuse 8 were members of NFL in 1960s. They played well. After the assassination of martin Luther they decided to meet in secret. They looked for ways of getting fairness injustices and thus decided to petition. They petitions addresses equal access of the academic advisers as well as tutors. As a result their sports addressed much more that their profession thus addressing the issue of racial discrimination (Davies).

1972 United States Olympic Basketball Team

In 1972 the Soviet Union defeated the United States. This was a golden medal game in Munich. The Americans team believed it was a stolen glory and the Soviet never won the game (Davies). As a resulted they decided to petition. However till today they are still believe that they are the ones who won the competition and they are just very few steps from it. This sport activity symbolized more than the event. For instance a soviet team member asked the mother of the team about the God he was explaining always and promised to believe in Him if they win the game. After the game this member accepted in God and believed in Jesus (Davies). Therefore this game brought God into context.

Billie Jean King v. Bobby Riggs

This presented the sexes battle. The game was famous during 1973 between Bobby and Billie, a man and a woman. This match attacked many people. This resulted in the women’s tennis acceptance. Thus this game brought into picture the women games (Davies).

Ali v. Frazier

In 1971 the two had a legal clam to world heavyweight champion. Frazer defeated Ali after he had refused to get into the military. Frazer dominated for some time during the match but at last Ali won the match. People who witnessed the match went home change and Ali’s supporters called him a cultural hero (Davies).

The United States Ping Pong Team

In April 1972 a tennis match was held during the Ping-Pong diplomacy period. The Chinese invited the American to visit the republic of people. This invitation resulted in as an international diplomacy tool. It later resulted in the presidential visit (Davies).

Alabama v. U.S.C

This is a match that occurred in 1972. He played well in football resulting into a change in football game. As a resulted he change the view of the white about the black people (Davies).

The Miracle on Ice and Doug Williams

In the ice miracle, in 1980 the American hockey team defeated the soviet. This was not expected in the world because Russian was a well-trained team. This happened during the cold war period. This was a conquest in the philosophical fight.

Doug Williams was the first black American to begin Super Bowl. His historical story gives a reason that inspires players to rise as well as act in whatever they believe (Davies).

The Fab Five, Greg Louganis, Magic Johnson, Arthur Ashe, and Mahmoud Adbul-Rauf 1990s

Greg Louganis was a sport champion. In 1995 he introduced to the world about his HIV-positive status and Gay life. Magic Johnson and Arthur Ashe also announced about their HIV positive status. Mahmoud Adbul-Rauf a NFL member stood for the national anthem saying it has issues.

The fab five in 1991, Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, Ray Jackson and Juwan Howard, all joined as fresher the same time and made it to championship. They changed the basketball world by introducing baggy shorts and black sock (Davies).

In conclusion teams, sports as well as athletes symbolize something more than sports. Some of these things involve racism women inclusion in games, justice as well as courage to tell the world about HIV.

Work Cited

Davies, Richard O. Sports in American Life: A History. John Wiley & Sons, 2016.

Edelman, Robert, and Wayne Wilson. The Oxford Handbook of Sports History. Oxford University Press, 2017.

Gems, Gerald, et al. Sports in American History, 2E: From Colonization to Globalization. Human Kinetics, 2017.

Leeds, Michael A., and Peter Von Allmen. The Economics of Sports: International Edition. Routledge, 2016.

White, Anita, and Barrie Houlihan. The Politics of Sports Development: Development of Sport or Development through Sport? Routledge, 2003.



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