Flood's lawsuit was filed more than 40 years ago and changed the game. In the 1960s athletes were in some cases activists. Billie Jean King has been marginalized in the 21st century but she fought for equal pay and equal educational opportunities for women in an effort to break the college quota system. The Title IX legislation signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon in 1972 was not a sports act rather an education law which gave women equal access to classes and majors in colleges and universities accepting federal funding. Muhammad Ali stuck to his principles in refusing to go into the armed forces in 1967. John Carlos and Tommie Smith staged a black power protest on the podium at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics which drew the ire of International Olympic Committee head Avery Brundage. All of those athletes were vilified in one way or another in those days. Flood has not been recognized by Cooperstown but his legacy is lasting.
The Curt Flood Act of 1998, signed into law by President Bill Clinton gives baseball players the same rights under American antitrust laws that basketball, football, hockey and soccer players enjoy.
Evan Weiner, the winner of the United States Sports Academy's 2010 Ronald Reagan Media Award, is an author, radio-TV commentator and speaker on "The Politics of Sports Business." His book, "The Business and Politics of Sports, Second Edition" is available at bickley.com, Barnes and Noble or amazonkindle.