NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd passes away aged 86

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Earl Lloyd, the first black man to ever play in the National Basketball Association, has sadly died at the age of 86.

Known as “Moonfixer,” the 6’5″ forward made his league debut in October 1950, playing for the Washington Capitals, becoming the first African-American in the history of the NBA to take to the court.

Lloyd was part of the Syracuse Nationals team that won the 1955 NBA Title, where he became the first black starting player on a Championship winning team.

Lloyd himself admitted in interviews that what he did was nothing compared to Jackie Robinson or Joe Louis, but the CIAA's Player of the Decade for the 1940s, admitted that he had to deal with disgraceful racism during his career.

“Those fans in Indianapolis, they yell stuff like, ‘Go back to Africa,'" Lloyd said. "And I’m telling you, you would often hear the N-word. That was commonplace. There were a lot of people who sat close to you who gave you the blues, man.”

Even though Lloyd would play down what he did, several current NBA players went on Twitter to express their thanks for being that pioneer after news of his death broke. Vince Carter of the Memphis Grizzlies was on of those.

Lloyd was enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003. Here you can watch the speech he gave upon being inducted.

Other Headlines:

Over to the NFL now, where the Atlanta Falcons released Steven Jackson. The running back joined the Falcons from the St Louis Rams in 2013, but failed to rush for over 1000 yards in both of his seasons in Atlanta.

To the NHL, where Andrew Hammond has kept up his incredible shut out streak. The Ottawa Senators goalie hasn't conceded a goal in nearly three hours of hockey, not bad for an undrafted player.

And finally to the MLS, where a player's strike is looking likely. With the 2015 season set to kick off in just over a week, Real Salt Lake's owner has come out and called the player's demand for free agency a 'go nowhere conversation'. That does not sound good.

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