They've sprinted, served, batted, slam-dunked and TKO'd their way into sports history. Sprinter Jesse Owens's Olympic triumphs put Hitler to shame. Basketball star Michael Jordan taught kids that they could fly. Gymnast Gabby Douglas showed that champions can come in pint-size packages, and Tiger Woods brought the game of golf to another level. Explore biographies of famous black athletes who broke records and barriers and, ultimately, captured our imaginations.
In a Fox TV special, O.J. Simpson gave a “hypothetical” account of how he and his friend Charlie murdered Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. “I took the knife from Charlie...after that, I don’t remember...I’m standing there and there’s all kinda stuff around. Blood and stuff.”
Kobe Bryant won an Oscar for the 2017 animated short “Dear Basketball,” but he won’t be admitted to the Academy. The Governors of the Academy voted to rescind the basketball player’s invitation, likely due to their code of conduct and his history of sex assault allegations.
Serena Williams revealed that in the minutes before one of her biggest career defeats, against Johanna Konta, she learned her sister’s killer had been released on parole. “My sister is not coming back for good behavior," William said of Yetunde Price, who was fatally shot in 2003.
LeBron James has left the Cleveland Cavaliers to play for the Los Angeles Lakers on a four-year, $153.3 million contract. This is the second time the four-time MVP basketball star has left his hometown, which is where he has said he wants to finish his career.
Simone Biles has made history again, this time winning first place in the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, making her the only woman to ever win five national all-around titles. The Olympic gymnast won four consecutive titles from 2013-'16 before returning this year.
Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who protested police brutality by taking a knee during the national anthem, is a finalist for TIME magazine’s 2017 person of the year, along with President Trump, special counsel Robert Mueller and the #MeToo movement.
Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier when he became the first black athlete to play Major League Baseball in the 20th century. He signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, and was named Rookie of the Year that year, National League MVP in 1949 and a World Series champ in 1955.