The Most Influential Athletes Of All Time
The most influential athletes of all time aren't just the best stars from their respective sports, but some of the most iconic individuals in the sports world. Whether they broke countless records or changed the way we all look at a specific sport, they influenced generations to come and will always be remembered at the top of their class. So, who do you think are the most influential athletes ever?
No matter the sport or discipline, these top athletes are true icons. Whether you're talking the New York Yankees great Babe Ruth or NBA GOAT Michael Jordan, the athletes listed here are far from your average sports stars. Take the legendary Deion Sanders, for example. Not only is he considered an NFL great, he's also an established professional baseball player—proving he's one of the greatest all-around athletes of all time. While he's a rare case in terms of athletes, others on this list of influential sports stars have contributed greatly to their sport.
Now, check out the list of athletes below and vote up your favorites for the most influential of all time. You can also vote athletes down, as well as add other sports icons to the list.
Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.; January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) was an American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist. Nicknamed "The Greatest," he is widely regarded as ...more
- Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Michael Schumacher (born 3 January 1969) is a retired German racing driver who raced in Formula One for Jordan Grand Prix, Benetton and Ferrari, where he spent most of his career, as well as for ...more
- Birthplace: Hürth, Germany
Wayne Douglas Gretzky (; born January 26, 1961) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach. He played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for four teams ...more
- Birthplace: Brantford, Canada
Larry Joe Bird (born December 7, 1956) is an American former professional basketball player, former coach, and former executive who most recently served as President of Basketball Operations for the ...more
- Birthplace: West Baden Springs, French Lick Township, Indiana, United States of America
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, KBE (October 23, 1940– December 29, 2022), known as Pelé, was a Brazilian retired professional soccer player who played as a forward. He is widely regarded as one of the ...more
- Birthplace: Três Corações, Brazil
Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963), also known by his initials MJ, is an American former professional basketball player and the principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets of the National ...more
- Birthplace: New York City, New York