In honor of Black History Month, here’s a look at the top 10 African-American Athletes of today.
Some are MVP’s and champions of their respective sport, others are scoring champions, Olympic medal winners and newly-minted stars, who have done something that hasn’t been done in their sport in a long time. Many of the athletes featured will be debated and questioned, and while some notables were excluded, the top ten African-American athletes featured are truly at the top of their respectable sport and recognized as role models and icons off of it.
- No. 10 Minnesota Vikings RB : Adrian Peterson – Fast, strong and physical, Peterson is the best running back in the NFL. After coming up nine yards shy breaking Erik Dickerson’s single-season rushing record of 2,097, “Purple Jesus” would claim his first-ever NFL MVP award in 2012-13, and become the third fastest player in history to reach 10,000 yards in 2013-14.
- No. 9 Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson – The prototypical wide receiver in today’s passing league. Calvin Johnson may be the most feared offensive player in football. At 6’5, 236 and a speed of 4.35,”Megatron” is a match-up nightmare on Sundays
- No. 8 Oklahoma City Thunder SF Kevin Durant – The second coming of Hall-Of-Famer George Gervin, Kevin Durant is perhaps the most prolific scorer in the NBA. Currently averaging over 30 points per game, Durant’s torrid play may finally net him his first NBA MVP–and possible first title as well.
- No. 7 Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson – Deemed to short to play at 5’10, the former third-round pick out of Wisconsin came up big on the biggest stage in sports –Super Bowl XLVIII. In beating Peyton Manning, Wilson joins former Doug Williams as the only starting black quarterback to win the Vince Lombardi.
- No. 6 Usain Bolt – Proclaimed the “Fastest man on Earth” the man known as “The Lightning Bolt” is simply to fast to catch and a human blur to watch. Winner of 14 gold medals and two silvers in the 100, 200 meter and 4 x 100 meter relay, Bolt loves up to his name.
- No. 5 Serena Williams – Winner of 17 Grand Slam titles, four Olympics gold medals(one in singles, three in doubles) and a singles career record of 639-113, Williams is the all-time leader among women athletes in earnings ($54,999,834)
- No. 4 New York Yankees SS Derek Jeter – Simply known as “The Captain”, Jeter has been the face of sports’ most storied and successful franchise, the New York Yankees for 20 years. Set to retire in 2014, the five-time World Series hero is a true Yankee thru and thru.
- No. 3 Los Angeles Lakers SG Kobe Bryant – Five NBA titles, two-time NBA Finals MVP and NBA MVP, the man known as “The Black Mamba” is both feared and respected. Despite losing his title as NBA alpha dog to LeBron, Kobe is still one of the best players to ever to don the storied Lakers purple and gold.
- No. 2 Tiger Woods – Winner of 18 PGA titles and the future heir to Jack Nicklaus, Woods is the first billion dollar athlete in sports history. Despite his well-publicized off-the-course marital issues, thanks to new love, Lindsay Vonn, Woods is on top of his game.
- No. 1 Miami Heat SF LeBron James – The undisputed king of the NBA, thanks to his two NBA titles and four MVP awards, James is the best basketball player on the hardwood and a global icon off of it.