Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People list is out, and I checked, you aren't on it. But some athletes are! But how did they get there? How can a pro athlete who's not Muhammad Ali or Jackie Robinson or Maximus from Gladiator possibly qualify as "influential?" Time's metric for selection is top secret, but I think we can tease out some common threads among the major athletes listed.
Religious: Yes, controversially so.
Handicap: Throwing Motion
Good: Maybe. Even more controversial than his religion.
Foreign: No, though treated as "other."
Religious: Yes, just short of controversially so.
Handicap: Intelligence, possibly Asian-Americanness.
Good: For a while there.
Note: I scrolled through the list, so it's entirely possible there are more athletes whose names I didn't recognize because they're just too foreign. (Hey, the world's top ranked women's golfer! )