The Fight for Equal Access in Sports Essay

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The development of sports in the modern era has an equal share of the history of inclusionary rights, especially with regard to women and minorities. Long branded as a tough sell, these groups have had a long fight for equal access to sports and leisure. Pioneers such as Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, and Billie Jean King, all overcame those challenges and rose to the pinnacle of their sport in this era. This has led to a gradual overhaul in the ideology of Americans towards minorities in sports of today. However, this was a process wrought with difficulty, and these pioneers had to fight relentlessly for not only inclusion, but also recognition of their status in sports. Examining the history of sports with regard to these athletes,…show more content…
Although these leagues were formed due to racial segregation, it was the response of black leaders and representatives in a time of oppression that allowed black athletes to find a way to flourish. Tygiel writes, “The essence of black professional baseball is far more elusive than that of its white counterpart. The major leagues always constituted the epitome and cultural core of mainstream baseball, but the formal negro leagues represented no more than a segment of the black baseball experience. P. 117”Even though Tygiel states that the negro leagues were merely a segment of black baseball, it was much more than that. It was a gateway, an opportunity for blacks to display their skills to the world on a professional forum. The legendary Jackie Robinson would not have been a groundbreaker and the first African American to become integrated in white, American baseball if it weren’t for visionaries such as Andrew Rube Foster, Effa Manley, Ed Bolden, and many more who all aided in the prosperity of the negro leagues in one way or another.
Although many visionaries and leaders that propelled the Negro leagues forward during the Jim Crow era were important to the black community and culture, none will be remembered like Jackie Robinson. Robinson, known for being the first African American to play major league baseball, immediately became a leader
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