The 1960s was an era that witnessed many legendary athletes and events emerge, along with political upheaval and social change that often found its way into sport.
At this time, African American athletes began asserting their equality with whites through sports. Many black athletes utilized their fame within sports to advocate civil rights; others even used celebrity status within sport to support specific civil rights causes; one example being boxer Muhammad Ali openly supporting civil rights and protesting Vietnam War by refusing conscription.
Rome hosted an unforgettable Olympic Games that provided many unforgettable moments, but one stand-out was Abebe Bikila’s unprecedented triumph as the first sub-Saharan African to ever win an Olympic running medal, breaking records along the way and giving African runners hope. He won this record-setting marathon event and made history.
An iconic sporting event of the 1960s was New York’s World Series, a dramatic series which ended with Bill Mazeroski hitting a home run for Pittsburgh Pirates.
Football saw the New York Jets defeat the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III; baseball saw Yogi Berra become the oldest player ever to throw a no-hit game and Sandy Koufax have one of his most outstanding seasons ever.
Basketball was an integral part of professional sport during the 60s, with Boston Celtics dominating in this era – winning 9 out of the possible 10 championships available to them. Wilt Chamberlain remains one of the greatest players ever seen on an NBA court today.
Other noteworthy sporting events of this era included Jack Nicklaus’ victory in the 1967 Masters Tournament and its concomitant merger between NFL and AFL into one National Football League league; college sports was dominated by Kentucky until they were shocked in their NCAA basketball finals by Texas Western team, which was comprised exclusively of black athletes.
This period also saw the start of international soccer and a turning point in F1. England beat Italy 3-1 to win the inaugural European Cup and Mexico City hosted its inaugural World Cup which marked an important turning point in world soccer. Additionally, Green Bay Packers dominated NFL in 1967 and 1968; New York Mets captured World Series victories; Boston Celtics captured nine out of the ten championships awarded during this era in NBA basketball.