Empowering Athletes: A Celebration of African Americans in Sports

ATLANTA – The FOX Sports Regional Networks serving the Southeast — FOX Sports South, FOX Sports Carolinas, FOX Sports Tennessee, and FOX Sports Southeast — will debut a content series in February showcasing lesser-known stories about Black athletes. Empowering Athletes: A Celebration of African Americans in Sports will be televised across the networks throughout the month as part of Black History Month.

To preview a clip from the content series click here 

FOX Sports Southeast analyst and historian Mike “Stinger” Glenn will profile six athletes of historical significance for the series, sharing stories of struggle, resilience, and triumph. 

Glenn will also share rare memorabilia and artifacts from his personal collection to help illustrate each storyline. 

The series will debut Saturday, Feb. 6 on FOX Sports Southeast, airing during Hawks LIVE at 7 p.m. ET prior to the Atlanta Hawks’ Unity Night game versus the Houston Rockets, and also at 8:30 p.m. ET during Grizzlies LIVE prior to the Grizzlies vs. Pelicans contest.

Each vignette will also be available on the networks’ social media platforms, including @FOXSportsSouth

Below is a brief profile about each Empowering Athlete and a complete schedule. Dates and times are subject to change – please check local listings. 

Tom Molineaux (1784-1818)

A bare-knuckle boxer and the first great American athlete, Molineaux was the first American to fight for a world title. He has been referred to as “The Father of Athletics in America” and gave America a sports reputation abroad. 

Air Dates: 

Saturday, Feb. 6: Atlanta Hawks on FSSE at 7:30 p.m. ET, Memphis Grizzlies on FSSE at 7:30 p.m. CT

Sunday, Feb. 7: Charlotte Hornets on FSSE at 12:30 p.m. ET, Carolina Hurricanes on FSCR at 2:30 p.m. ET

Monday, Feb. 8: Nashville Predators on FSTN at 6:30 p.m. CT

George “Little Chocolate” Dixon (1870-1908)

Born in Africville, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Dixon developed shadow boxing and became the bantamweight and weather weight champion of the world before 1900.  

Air Dates: 

Friday, Feb. 12: Atlanta Hawks on FSSE at 7 p.m. ET, Charlotte Hornets on FSSE at 6:30 p.m. ET, Memphis Grizzlies on FSSE at 8:30 p.m. CT

Saturday, Feb. 13: Carolina Hurricanes on FSCR at 7:30 p.m. ET, Nashville Predators on FSTN at 6:30 p.m. CT

Marshall “Major” Taylor (1878-1932)

Taylor was the fastest bicycle rider in the world and the second African American to win a World Championship in any sport. Several cycling clubs, trails and events in the U.S. have been named in his honor. 

Air Dates: 

Monday, Feb. 15: Atlanta Hawks on FSSE at 7 p.m. ET

Wednesday, Feb. 17: Carolina Hurricanes on FSCR at 4:30 p.m. ET, Memphis Grizzlies on FSSE at 6 p.m. CT

Thursday, Feb. 18: Nashville Predators on FSTN at 5:30 p.m. CT

Saturday, Feb. 20: Charlotte Hornets on FSSE at 7:30 p.m. ET

Satchel Paige (1906-1982)

Paige played in both the Negro Leagues and Major League Baseball. His career spanned five decades and was the first Black baseball player inducted into the Hall of Fame. 

Air Dates: 

Friday, Feb. 19: Atlanta Hawks on FSSE at 7 p.m. ET

Saturday, Feb. 20: Carolina Hurricanes on FSCR at 6:30 p.m. ET, Charlotte Hornets on FSSE at 6:30 p.m. ET, Memphis Grizzlies on FSSE at 6:30 p.m. ET, Nashville Predators on FSTN at 5:30 p.m. CT 

Monday, Feb. 22: Charlotte Hornets on FSSE at 8:30 p.m. ET

Althea Gibson (1927-2003)

Gibson was one of the first Black athletes to cross the color line of international tennis. In 1956, she became the first African American to win a Grand Slam at the French Open in Paris, and went on to win Wimbledon and the U.S. Nationals the following year.

Air Dates: 

Tuesday, Feb. 23: Atlanta Hawks on FSSE at 6:30 p.m. ET

Wednesday, Feb. 24: Carolina Hurricanes on FSCR at 4:30 p.m. ET, Charlotte Hornets on FSSE at 8:30 p.m. ET

Thursday, Feb. 25: Memphis Grizzlies on FSSE at 6:30 p.m. CT, Nashville Predators on FSTN at 6 p.m. CT 

Wilma Rudolph (1940-1994)

An Olympic sprinter and world record holder, Rudolph was a star in the 1960 Olympics where she won three gold medals. She had many diseases and illnesses as a child but overcame them all to become the world’s fastest woman.

Air Dates: 

Saturday, Feb. 27: Carolina Hurricanes on FSCR at 6:30 p.m. ET

Sunday, Feb. 28: Atlanta Hawks on FSSE at 5:30 p.m. ET, Charlotte Hornets on FSSE at 8:30 p.m. ET, Memphis Grizzlies on FSSE at 5:30 p.m. CT, Nashville Predators on FSTN at 1:30 p.m. CT