First Black Players to Enter Professional Leagues

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  • 011112 sports bhm willie o ree
  • 011112 sports bhm althea gibson
  • 011112 sports bhm charlie sifford
  • 011112 sports bhm otey cannon
  • 011112 sports bhm bob ryland
  • bhm12 cover first black players to enter professional leagues
  • 011112 sports bhm charles follis
  • 011112 sports bhm woody strode
  • 011112 sports bhm kenny washington
  • 011112 sports bhm nathaniel clifton
  • 011112 sports bhm chuck cooper
  • 011112 sports bhm jackie robinson
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Bob Ryland

 Bob Ryland broke the color barrier in men’s tennis in 1959, when he became the first Black man to play the game as a professional. For much of his career, Ryland wasn’t allowed to participate in the whites-only tournaments, though he secured many city championships in Los Angeles and participated in the U.S. National Championships, an international tournament. 

(Photo: Bob Ryland)

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