February is Black History Month and I thought I should focus on the Black Athletes that have inspired me over the years…
Full disclosure, I am a white 54-year old man of European descent, specifically a combination of Pennsylvania Dutch and Welsch. I can trace my heritage all the way back to the Mayflower, so I consider myself lily-white, whiter than white, and an ancestor of people that possibly could not have understood the plight of the African American in the United States. I do not feel I have “white privilege”, in fact, I have struggled my entire life, always in debt and not given preferential treatment over the years. I am a firm believer that your life is what you make of it, and I am a prime example of the underachievement of a person that possibly could have been so much more than where I am right now. Despite all of that, I am happy where I am, I have a good job, I make a decent living, and although I have plenty of regrets looking back over my life, I am responsible for my actions of the past and I accept those actions are responsible for where I am now in my life.
As a sports fan of over 50 years, I can look back and remember those black athletes that have inspired me. Beginning with Muhammad Ali and Jim Brown to Walter Payton and Michael Jordan. From Magic Johnson and Kareem to Warren Moon and Ozzie Newsome. From Reggie Jackson and Tony Dorsett to Ken Griffey Jr and Reggie White. From Ronnie Lott to Doug Williams and Colin Kaepernick to Russel Wilson…
There have been many more athletes that have inspired me, many more that give me hope that we are all created equal and provide proof that systemic racism has no place in this country.
This post is dedicated to those athletes that inspired me with their talent on and off the field. I honor them today because they are great performers in not only their given sport but prove they can be leaders off the field as well.
Thank you for inspiring this old sports fan to be better…
Be good to each other…
Scott “The Sports Nerd”
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