With Black History Month now here in the UK, it's the perfect time to remember and look back on some of the great Black icons that have graced sports. What better way is there to do that than sign into your ESPN Player account and browse the vast archive of films, documentaries and more.
Don't forget you can grab a free trial of ESPN Player here for seven days, priced at just £9.99 per months. ESPN Player streams over 10,000 live sport events per year, including college football, college basketball and a whole host of other great college sports. College Bowls & Playoff plus every game from March Madness.
Here are just five of the titles you should be watching this month, featuring some of sport's greatest Black icons.
You Don't Know Bo: The Legend of Bo Jackson
This is a close look at a rare, incredible two-sport athlete that despite never claiming the top prize in either of his chosen sports, went on to become a cultural icon and one of the most famous athletes of all-time. ESPN Films takes a look at Bo Jackson, examining the truths and tales surrounding his remarkable career in which he played both American Football and Baseball. His status a cultural icon can't be underestimated, becoming the face of one of Nike's most famous ad campaigns, paving the way for future athletes to do similar with the brand. Things that seemed impossible were achieved by Jackson and this film looks to explain just how he made them possible.
In one of the most famous moments in NBA history, on On Thursday, Nov. 7, 1991, Earvin "Magic" Johnson stopped the world of sport in its tracks as he made the stunning announcement that he was HIV-positive and would be retiring from basketball immediately. The Announcement takes a look at the period leading up to that and after, as Magic continued to thrive decades later. Nelson George is a filmmaker, author and historian who specialises in highlighting the African-American cause takes the audience on an unforgettable, emotional journey.
Jordan Rides The Bus
Towards the end of 1993, the single most famous sportsman alive walked away from the sport that had brought about his legendary status. Jordan Rides The Bus takes a look at Michael Jordan's decision to walk away from the NBA and play baseball in general obscurity. Director Ron Shelton looks to get inside the mind of Jordan and his decision to change sports. Was it the murder of his Father that caused the switch...or was it something else altogether?
A recent release, in April 2021, but one that should be at the top of your watch list. ESPN Films presents 144, a look at how the WNBA coped with the rigours of the COVID-19 pandemic enforced shutdown. It wasn't the basketball that the players had to deal with inside the WNBA Bubble, a one site camp for 144 players across 62 days. As well as the he COVID-19 pandemic, there were the demands of activism, and the rigours of an unrelenting schedule. 144 was filmed over each of the 62 days with one cameraperson and one sound person, offering a unique and groundbreaking look at an historic season. It underlines the importance of the WNBA, not just on a sporting level, but a human one too.
A two-part 30 for 30 documentary on the unforgettable and unique figure that is Michael Vick. Tis documentary takes a look at each chapter of former NFL quarterbacks incredible rise, shocking fall, and polarising return. Vick goes all the way back to look at a High School star turned College Football phenomenon, before becoming a #1 overall NFL Draft pick - the first time an African-American quarterback was selected with the top pick. Vick would mesmerise on the field, becoming a cultural icon, but off it a refusal to turn his back on the friends who'd been with him since the beginning would be his downfall. Vick takes a look at one of the most iconic figures of the modern NFL era.
Keep an eye on ESPN UK across October as we celebrate Black History Month.