ESPN’s The Undefeated will soon release its list of the 50 greatest black athletes. Today they published the results of public voting and you’ll want to sit down before reading because it is bound to send even the calmest reader into a tailspin.
Here is what the 10,000-plus surveyed took into account:
Respondents were asked how great of an athlete each person was/is using a scale of 1 to 10 stars. The athletes were ranked in order based on their average scores to form a top 50 list. From there, the top 60 athletes (including the first 10 who didn’t make the cut to 50) were used to create a final ranking. Each athlete was ranked on four factors: overall ranking, dominance, inspiration and impact on society. Average scores were calculated from each factor to create a composite score.
Now, without further adieu, allow me to share the six times I almost fell out of my chair looking at these public rankings.
- Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas at No. 8 and 9, respectively, ahead of Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain and Pele?
- Stephen Curry at No. 28, one spot ahead of LeBron James?
- Jim Brown at No. 30 while Emmitt Smith sits at No. 19?
- Bill Russell at No. 36?
- Larry Fitzgerald at No. 42?
- Tiger Woods not in the top 50?
Again, this was public voting, not the Undefeated’s determinations which will hopefully be a bit more sane. Looking at these six, it’s hard to pick a least favorite or most perplexing. On first blush the two gymnasts riding recency bias to the top-10 feels like the leader in the clubhouse.
Surely, you have a few issues of your own.