Gather ’round, sports history enthusiasts! Did you know that the athletic world and Freemasonry, the storied fraternity, have crossed paths more often than you’d think? That’s right – some of the biggest names in sports have donned not just team jerseys but also the Masonic apron. Here’s a roster of ten pro athletes who were also proud Freemasons, showcasing an intriguing blend of physical prowess and fraternal bonds.
Jack Dempsey: The Masonic Heavyweight
Jack Dempsey, the thunderous puncher of the 1920s boxing world, was more than a heavyweight champ; he was a brother of the Kenwood Lodge No. 800 in Chicago. His Masonic ties added a layer to the man known for his ferocity in the ring.
Sugar Ray Robinson: Sweet as Sugar, Strong as Stone
Regarded by many as the best boxer to ever dance in the ring, Sugar Ray Robinson was a member of New York’s Joppa Lodge No. 55. His Masonic membership was a quiet counterpoint to his flamboyant boxing persona.
Ty Cobb: The Georgia Peach with a Masonic Twist
Baseball’s legend Ty Cobb, known for his fiery temperament and batting prowess, was initiated into Freemasonry at Royston Lodge No. 426 in Georgia. Cobb’s Masonic affiliation was as intriguing as his storied career on the diamond.
Arnold Palmer: The Fairway Freemason
Arnold Palmer, golf’s charismatic king, was as much a master of the green as he was a dedicated Mason, hailing from Loyalhanna Lodge No. 275 in Pennsylvania. His Masonic links complemented his legacy of sportsmanship and charity.
John Elway: A Quarterback in the Lodge
Denver Broncos icon and two-time Super Bowl champ John Elway is known to sport the Masonic square and compass alongside his football accolades. His leadership extended from the gridiron to the lodge.
Scottie Pippen: Dunking with the Brothers
Scottie Pippen, a linchpin of the Chicago Bulls’ 90s supremacy, counts himself among the brethren of Prince Hall Freemasonry. His Masonic association aligns with his reputation for teamwork and discipline on the court.
Shaquille O’Neal: The Big Freemason
NBA’s gentle giant, Shaquille O’Neal, isn’t just known for his dominance on the court but also as a proud member of Widow’s Son Lodge No. 28 in Boston. Shaq’s Masonic identity is as large as his personality.
Tim Horton: Brewing on the Ice and in the Lodge
Canadian hockey hero and coffee chain co-founder, Tim Horton wore the skates and the Masonic apron with equal pride, as part of Kroy Lodge No. 676 in Toronto.
Nigel Mansell: Racing at the Lodge
Former Formula One World Champion Nigel Mansell found brotherhood at the Hope and Charity Lodge in Devon, UK. His need for speed on the track found a contemplative counterpoint in the Masonic halls.
Steve Young: The 49er with Masonic Colors
Steve Young, the NFL Hall of Famer and celebrated 49ers quarterback, is reported to be a member of the Masonic fraternity. Young’s gridiron glory is matched by his commitment to Masonic values.
These ten athletes remind us that the world of sports often intersects with other realms, including the venerable halls of Freemasonry. Their membership in this ancient brotherhood highlights how the principles of Freemasonry – brotherly love, relief, and truth – find resonance across diverse fields, including the competitive arena of professional sports.