Over a half a century
before Colin Kaepernick
refused to stand for the US national anthem, track and field star Eroseanna "Rose" Robinson was consumed by the need to challenge injustice, but her courageous story has been largely overlooked in the pages of history that have often focused attention instead on athletic peers Tommie Smith and John Carlos.
Born in 1925, Robinson excelled at Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) track events in the 1940s before developing into a leading high jumper, winning at the National AAU Championships in 1958 and joining the US Track and Field team thereafter.
Activism was already part of her life -- through the 50s, she had been prominent in direct action de-segregation protests, including one at a skate rink in Cleveland.
"Rose was really effective at the skate-ins because she was a great athlete," Dr. Amira Rose Davis, professor of history and African American studies at Penn State University, told CNN Sport.