It is not at all uncommon today in 21st century America to see sports teams with members of different races and cultures. In fact, one would think it strange to see a team that was not multiracial. As common as interracial athletics is today, things have not always been this way. Obviously, in the times of segregation, schools were divided into black and white schools. In effect, Athletics teams were divided into black and white teams. Professional teams were also segregated. Baseball had the Major League and the Negro League. Football was all white. Basketball also had separate leagues for blacks and whites. Segregation was just as prevalent in sports as it was in everyday life in times prior to the 1950's. To better understand race and sports, one must first look at the history of race and sports, key figures of race and sports, and currents issues that deal with race and sports. .
With segregation so dominant in professional sports, there was one area of athletics in which African Americans could compete. This area was the Olympics and an athlete named Jesse Owens excelled on this worldwide stage. "Jesse Owens is perhaps the best-remembered Olympic star of all time. He is famous for his world-record success in the 1936 Olympics in the face of racial discrimination" (Whitehouse 1). The time and place was 1936 Berlin. "At that time, Germany was ruled by the powerful dictator Adolph Hitler, whose beliefs in racial supremacy and destructive actions led to World War II. European newspapers insulted Jesse and the other 11 African Americans competing on America's 66-member Olympic track and field team" (Whitehouse 1). Owens proved Hitler's white supremacy theory wrong by winning four gold medals, setting two Olympic records, and setting one world record. Hitler's theory, was further disproved by Owens, the grandson of a slave, proving that race did not make someone a champion.