2012 Was Another Year Of Firsts For African-Americans In Sports

In 2012 sadly we are still marking firsts for people of color in all endeavors, even in sports. As a person of color, each advancement made is a cause of celebration. While some historic milestones in the world of sports this past year were done by well-known athletes, some were not.

Katrina Adams in Sept. became the first African-American elected to the position of 1st Vice President of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), the governing body of tennis in the America. If tradition holds true after her upcoming two year term from 2013-2015, she should become its first Black President and Chairman of the Board.

Also in tennis, Serena Williams, career holder of all four Grand Slam titles in singles and doubles, became the first to win Olympic Gold in Singles and Doubles this year. She finished as the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Player of the Year, only ranked #3 behind two players that she beat more than once.

Gabrielle Douglas became the first African-American to win the Individual All Around gold medal and to also win gold in the team competition in the 2012 Olympics. Later in 2012, she was named the Associated Press Female Player of the Year.

For the first time two outstanding Black rookie quarterbacks, Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks will play in the NFL's NFC wild card game the first week in Jan. The game winner may also decide which of the two, besides Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts, might get Rookie of the Year.

As Jan. 1, 2013, marks the 150th year of the Emancipation Proclamation where slaves in the rebellious states of the Civil War were freed, let us not forget how far we have come. With the first ever re-election of a Black President and 2012's feats, let's remember that Jackie Robinson's debut in baseball was only in 1947. Even so, the real day of joy will be when this topic of firsts by someone of color is no longer a concern.