I copy below my 2012 story :
The sports have been designed by white people. Throughout the twentieth century, black champions were able to brave the hostility of the public and contribute to achieve the racial equality. They include Jack Johnson, Jesse Owens, Joe Louis, Jackie Robinson.
The art of Jean-Michel Basquiat, who started as a street painter, is deeply claiming and social. In 1982, the raised fist of the Black Panthers in the 1968 Olympics is still fresh in the memories. Race relations in sports are a natural theme for the young artist.
Everything is violent in his Orange Sports Figure, a colorful work dominated by the strident orange jersey of a baseball player with broad shoulders. In the usual style of Basquiat, the head with bulging eyes and teeth like prison bars is topped by a crown with three tips.
A few letters scattered within the composition identify this king of baseball to which Basquiat wants to make such a vibrant tribute. He is Hank Aaron, the black athlete who exceeded in 1974 the prestigious record of most home runs held for four decades by Babe Ruth.