Elle Duncan pays tribute to 5 legends of the sports industry for Black History Month

The ESPN sports anchor says representation that came before her was the key to her success
5:15 | 02/28/20

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Transcript for Elle Duncan pays tribute to 5 legends of the sports industry for Black History Month
I have loved sports my entire life and I always warranted some career in sports. I stand on the shoulders of so many incredible pioneers to pave the way before me paint carrying that broke babe Ruth's home run record in 1974. And he did with his own fans threatening his life. In the sagging deep. This man's Steele was facing death threats and his family was still had to be protected because people felt like the beloved Babe Ruth could not hat he. Sacred record broken by the black man. We had believed as a country that we had moved past some of these typical troops when it came to breaking down racial barriers. And this man was facing the kind of discrimination that Jackie Robinson was facing twenty years before. He was a great examination to all of us while we felt like we'd come along way in baseball we had a long ago. It's time to talk about milk when he. Robbing. A operates. The first black sport center and can. I remember watching hang and always wanting to do something in sports and for knowing what that looks like representation is. To use it. No it actually cost to see this southern girl go from the army base in Tuskegee Alabama sent hosting good player in the east. Morning television it's been incredibly inspiring for all of us that that no matter where we come from what looked like weeks and we put in the hardware it. Heat light up to ever be there is only. Tony Dungy. Is the hitting me. Understanding. Or charge and lie and Tony Dungy. Coached place. Tony Dungy has done so much work mean boring. Inside of the law outside of them as well. If not for him there would not be the pipeline that you currently have. Inspired young head coaches making it up. When you look on paper and say Tony Dungy is the first black head coach doing this to people. You want them here next to that two at Munich 1970. It was 2006. All of these things that we celebrate are incredibly bitter sweet because it feels like we shouldn't be celebrating. Trailblazers in the two thousands and yet here we are. So I think that Tony Dungy breaking down that barrier was incredible but there's still a lot of work to do you. Mid steam it hopefully in the mean. In my woman cries every day. L I grew up a ballerina. And I was the only brown girl and all of my valley classes. And I think for so long the picture of a ballerina. Please be skinny long leggy blonde with a little perfectly aligned Bonn on top her and that's kind of what Italy's budget. About retail and I remember a few days ago seeing this picture. At this little ballet troupe. That we're so inspired by misty Copeland that they all joined Al. Factories in each game we have to be influenced by people that look like us that we know it is possible and beastie Copeland has opened up. The world. For her to beat the principal dancer at the American Alley theater I mean that's a huge huge deal. It's important to recognize that there are young. Round men and women right now doing the works of the twenty and thirty years from now he'll be reading about the mystique Oakland's. No one wants to be the black ballerina but people like misty Copeland are so inspiring even to be she's she's going to be. That next thing for these young girl she's going to be. Who Robin Roberts was to meet for an entire generation answers. Alfie gives sand it was the first. Black woman to win at the US open different open and Wimbledon. Singles titles. She was a sharecroppers daughter. Who in the fifties. Broke down so many incredible barriers. The thing is that she was mistreated at every turn she didn't earn any money playing tennis that's why she had to walk -- as the number one tennis player in the world. She was controversial because she had the audacity. To want to pervade let the time was a watts be country club sport she knew she was good she had the chops she picked tennis. Despite the fact that they never picked her he just kept waiting she was undeniable and an undeniable force and every time they tried to prevent her. From going to tournaments because of her collar every time she had. To be excluded from going into locker rooms because women didn't like your locker rooms with her because she was black what did she do you she turned into the court and she just kept dominating us work. I don't think anything to Althea Gibson I would say thank you for your grade. Thank you for your determination and thank you for never giving up thank you out he gets it for being the picture. A perseverance.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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