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Athletes that made impacts on and off the field

Posted by Betonline team on 6/13/2016 5:22:32 AM
Athletes that made impacts on and off the field

Muhammad Ali was named Athlete of the Century by Sports Illustrated and it is difficult to find flaws in the magazine’s logic. His importance was felt inside and outside of the boxing ring. But he is not the only one who made major impacts with sports fans.

Here are 10 athletes besides Ali that had a major impact on our lives.

Jesse Owens: Hitler hosted the 1936 Olympic Games to put the Aryan superiority on display. Owens crushed Hitler’s dream by winning the 100 and 200-meter sprints, long jump and the 4-by-100 relay. He also had the best 45 minutes in track and field at the University of Michigan.

Joe Louis: America got behind Louis when he fought Max Schmeling for the second time in 1937 before more than 70,000 at Yankee Stadium. Hitler again was touting Aryan superiority and the Germans proclaimed that no black man could beat Schmeling. President Franklin D. Roosevelt told Louis before the fight that he needed muscles like him to beat Hitler. Louis knocked out Schmeling in the first round.

Michael Jordan: Air Jordan changed the way players played the game with superior athleticism. I believe him to be the greatest player in the game. He also marketed himself and pushed Air Jordan gym shoes where every kid had to have a pair. He used his empire to purchase the Charlotte Hornets where he remains the owner of the team.

Tom Brady: He has four Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots and might go down as the greatest quarterback ever. He is also fighting with the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell in a silly deflate-gate battle that has been brewing for nearly two years.

Babe Ruth: He was a showman and for many years was the home run king that others chased. The Bambino also played for the New York Yankees and that carries a lot of clout. Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds later passed him but Ruth remains the home run king to many.

Wayne Gretzky: The NHL needed a major boost and Gretzky provided that with his speed on the ice and the ability to put up nearly two points a game in some seasons. He was breathtaking and he really gave the league a boost by moving from Edmonton to Los Angeles where his presence gathered more media attention.

Tiger Woods: He is broken down and injured now, but Woods gave golf and Nike a tremendous shot with his domination on the golf course. Woods got Americans to play and watch golf. He garnered a lot of media attention that the PGA Tour used to boost ratings and revenue.

Martina Navratilova: She was a dominant player that ticked off America by her victories over Chris Evert, but she also was not afraid to talk about being gay and pushed causes in the gay community during a time it was not popular to do so.

OJ Simpson: He was one of the greatest running backs of all time but he also divided the United States with the trial of the century. He was found not guilty of murdering his wife and her friend. The drama played out on television sets across the country. White America jeered the decision while black America cheered it.

Jim Brown: The former Cleveland Browns running back was one of the best backs of all time and frequently speaks out on social issues. He shocked Cleveland when he left the game after nine years to do movies.

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