Richard Lapchick, director of UCF's DeVos Sport Business Management program, joined the ranks beside iconic names such as Muhammed Ali, Michelle Obama and David Beckham.

Beyond Sport released its compilation of the Top 50 Inspirational People who have changed the world through sports on Monday. Lapchick, who is also the founder of The Institute of Diversity and Ethics in Sport, is internationally known as an expert on sports and diversity and has been described as "the racial conscience of sport," according to a press release.

In the 1970s, he led the boycott against the apartheid policies that barred South African participation in sports events, such as the Davis Cup. In turn, he received a personal invitation from Nelson Mandela to attend his presidential inauguration.

The chosen honorees, spanning influential people past and present, “have led by example, broken new ground, established global movements, fought against prejudice and crossed divides. … Each of their journeys and backgrounds is different, but they have all come to recognize that used correctly, sport can change the world,” said Nick Keller, founder of Beyond Sport, in the release.

Lapchick's other contributions include publishing an annual report on diversity of race and gender in sports teams and leagues, providing diversity training to NASCAR and starting the National Consortium for Academics and Sports, which has been raising awareness of racism in sports for more than 30 years.

In addition to the Beyond Sport list, Lapchick has received the 2014 Life Achievement Award from the National Basketball Retired Players Association, the 2012 Mannie Jackson Human Spirit Award and was just inducted into the New York Athletic Club's Basketball Hall of Fame, the release states.


Noelle Campbell is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @Noellecampz or email her at