Sports personalities listed in Time 100: The Most Influential People of 2020

time 100
Time has released its 100 Most Influential People of 2020. Among them are sports personalities. (Photo courtesy of TIME)

TIME Magazine recently released its lists for the 100 Most Influential People of 2020.

The list, which is divided into five categories namely Pioneers, Artists, Leaders, Titans and Icons, ranges from politicians, philanthropists and world leaders to activists, musicians and athletes.

Check out the sports personalities who have impacted the year 2020:


Giannis Antetokounmpo 

Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo. (Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images / AFP)

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who recently won his second straight NBA Most Valuable Player Award, was recognized for leading a boycott and refusing to play in light of the Jacob Blake police shooting.

The movement sparked several boycotts and protests in the NBA to empower the players' #BlackLivesMatter campaign.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, six-time NBA champion and league MVP, wrote that Giannis possesses these qualities which every generation finds in an athlete: dedication, focus, exceptional athleticism, and grace under pressure.

"I have no doubt that Giannis will extend the NBA records he hold—he already has the highest single-season Player Efficiency Rating, which combines all of a player’s stats, in NBA history—possibly beyond the reach of future generations," the Lakers legend said.

"But a sports hero is more than records. Giannis sets an example by standing up for what he believes in."

Maya Moore

Maya Moore (Photo from

Aside from winning WNBA and NCAA titles and Olympic gold medals, Maya Moore is also a champion of justice.

TIME highlighted the moment Moore quit professional basketball to advocate for reform of the United States' criminal-justice system.

Over the summer, the multi-titled Moore helped to win the release of Jonathan Irons, a black man who spent more than 20 years in prison after being wrongly convicted.

Last Sept. 16, Moore announced her marriage with Irons.

"With so much angst, pain, sorrow and dismay in our nation, many are asking what we should require from our celebrated athletes, entertainers and influencers," wrote Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of Just Mercy.

"On the day of Irons’ release, Moore—who was there to greet him—evoked a powerful line from scripture: do justice, love mercy, walk humbly."


Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton Formula One
Lewis Hamilton (Photo by Will Oliver / POOL / AFP)

F1 driver Lewis Hamilton is known for his activism on and off the track.

Hamilton used his voice as an athlete to call the attention of the public in light of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, both in the virtual and real world.

No less than NASCAR Bubba Wallace wrote Hamilton's piece for the TIME.

"I’m the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top level. So Lewis’ example—as the lone Black F1 driver—is particularly meaningful for me," Wallace said.

"He shows we’re out there doing it. To see him conquering the track damn near every weekend, it motivates me to try to do the same."

The NASCAR driver added that Hamilton is more than just a model for race-car drivers and other athletes.

"He's an inspiration for everyone."

Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes (Harry How/Getty Images/AFP)

Patrick Mahomes, quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs, led his team to a Super Bowl comeback last February.

After half a decade, the Chiefs won their second NFL title after defeating the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.

The first and last time they won was way back in 1969 -- the last season prior to the AFL-NFL merger. It was also the last time Kansas City made it into the Super Bowl.

"When Patrick Mahomes steps onto the football field, all eyes are drawn to him. It’s not just that his combination of athleticism, creativity and vision is fun to watch," wrote Yankees great Derek Jeter, who is also CEO and part-owner of the Miami Marlins in the MLB.

"What his play really showcases is his love of the game and the commitment he’s made to his teammates and coaches, and it’s clear that is the true foundation of his success."

Dwyane Wade

Dwayne Wade (Photo from

Dwyane Wade has etched his name as one of the best shooting guards in the NBA, not to mention his three titles with the Miami Heat.

Wade spent 16 years playing his heart out for the game of basketball. But just like other athletes, the Heat great used his voice to spread kindness and awareness in today's society.

The 38-year-old Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union, who is also listed in TIME's list, are proud allies of the LGBTQ+ community.

The couple has set a good example as responsible parents for supporting their daughter Zaya, a transgender.

"Every kid is going to be different in some way or another. Every kid is going to have their own individuality and their own interests and their own identity. He and Gabrielle don’t love Zaya despite who she is," Grammy-winning musician and activist John Legend wrote.

"They love Zaya, and they celebrate who she is and they embrace her. He’s modeling how parents can champion their kids, and fight for them, and help them become the best adult that they can be. I think that’s really beautiful."


Allyson Felix

Allyson Felix (Photo from

Allyson Felix, three-time world champion and 2012 Olympic gold medalist in track and field, spoke out about the injustice she faced during 2018.

At that time, Felix called out her sponsor Nike for threatening to pay her less after giving birth to her daughter.

And that caught the attention and support of Turlington Burns, founder of Every Mother Counts, an organization that advocates the improvement of maternal health and childbirth safe.

Nike then updated its maternity policies to secure athletes' pay for 18 months. 

The following year, Felix did not disappoint and bagged her 13th world championship gold.

"Pregnancy discrimination puts women and their families at risk. Any brand profiting from the attributes and accolades of women should ramp up their support during this period—not cut it back," wrote Burns.

"To do less is unjust. Women have proved time and again that they can be more resilient after childbirth, and female athletes are no exception."

Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka (Matthew Stockman / Getty Images / AFP)

Naomi Osaka of Japan has made a name in tennis history more than just bagging three-time Grand Slam singles champion, being the reigning queen of US Open and the first Asian player to rank No. 1.

The half Japanese-Haitian tennis prodigy, at 22 years old, has become the voice of the oppressed and the black and brown lives.

In the US Open, in seven matches, she wore seven different masks -- each bearing the name of a black person who was a victim of racial injustice and police brutality in America.

Here are the names:

Round 1: Breonna Taylor, 26, was shot dead by cops in her Louisville, Kentucky apartment on March 13.

Round 2: Elijan McClain, 23, died in August last year after police in Aurora, Colorado used a carotid hold, a technique used to make a person unconscious by restricting the blood to the brain.

Round 3: Ahmaud Arbert, 25, was shot by armed white men when he was just jogging through a suburban neighborhood in Georgia last February.

Round 4: The death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida back in 2012 became one of the spark plug for the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Quarterfinals: George Floyd, 46, died in the hospital last May 25 after Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin knelt on him for almost nine minutes during the arrest.

SemifinalsPhilando Castile, 32, was shot by Minnesota cops during a traffic stop in St. Paul's suburb last 2016.

Finals: Tamir Rice, 12, was shot by police officer Timothy Loehmann in Cleveland, Ohio in 2014. Rice was playing in a playground with a toy gun.

"She reminded us that we can all resist the excuses that guard us from giving love. Whatever power we have, the most lasting and life-­giving way we can steward that power is by using it to lift others up. Especially those who aren’t exactly like us," wrote WNBA great Moore.

"Because we need each other. We need the fullness of humanity. Sports can uniquely beckon this truth.

"If somebody like Naomi can have the courage to use what she has to call people higher, then we can too. You can too."

Megan Rapinoe 

Megan Rapinoe (Photo from Time)

"Megan Rapinoe fearlessly uses her voice to make the world a more equal place. No matter your politics, ethnicity or gender, that’s something we should all celebrate," said New York's Democratic senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

Indeed, Rapinoe made a huge impact inside and outside of the football pitch.

Rapinoe, who led the United States to a World Cup title in 2019, is a proud feminist and an out gay advocate.

She is also known for exchanging words with US President Donald Trump for the latter's sexist and racist remarks.

But the pink-haired Rapinoe wouldn't budge as she continues to fight for gender pay equality, racial justice and LGBTQ+ rights.

"Megan Rapinoe fearlessly uses her voice to make the world a more equal place. No matter your politics, ethnicity or gender, that’s something we should all celebrate," Gillibrand added. 

For the full list, click here.