Honoring HBCU Football Players In The NFL
In the 1920s, the Nation Football League (NFL) did not believe that African-Americans could play football but look how far we have come. During Black History Month, we would like to honor HBCU football players that were in the NFL.
One of the top HBCU football players of all-time, Doug Williams, from Grambling State University and played with the Washington Redskins, was recently honored by the NFL during Super Bowl 51.
Doug Williams was the “first” African-American quarterback to start in an NFL league championship game and to win the Super Bowl 1987. Why is he not in the Hall of Fame yet? Now Williams is the head coach at his Alma mater, Grambling State University, where they recently won the Southwestern Athletic Conference Football Championship.
Paul Younger “Tank” signed with LA Rams as the first football player from a black college, Grambling State University, to sign with an NFL team. Off the field, Younger became NFL’s first Black assistant general manager back in 1975 with the San Diego Chargers. Also, he was the first black player to attend an NFL All-Star Game.
Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas is currently displaying the traveling exhibit of the Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Hall of Famers like Elvin Bethea, North Carolina A&T, gave their expertise during an exhibit tour about their journey in the NFL and how racial tensions were high during the 1960s. He expressed to a group of students how his white teammates “said and did terrible things to the black men on the team” (Houston Chronicle).
Kenny Houston from Prairie View A&M takes students from Pro-Vision Academy in Houston on a tour through the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Gridiron Glory. Houston was drafted by the Houston Oilers and is proclaimed to be one of the best players in the league’s history.
During Super Bowl 51 in Houston, 29 gold jackets were honored who attended historically black colleges and universities. The Black College Football Hall of Fame partnered with the NFL to become more involved and have a permanent home in Canton, Ohio.
Out of the 303 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, only 29 attended Historically Black College or Universities (HBCUs)
|JOHN STALLWORTH||Alabama A&M|
|BOB HAYES||Florida A&M|
|BOB HAYES||Florida A&M|
|RAYFIELD WRIGHT||Fort Valley State|
|WILLIE BROWN||Grambling State|
|BUCK BUCHANAN||Grambling State|
|WILLIE DAVIS||Grambling State|
|CHARLIE JOINER||Grambling State|
|LEM BARNEY||Jackson State|
|WALTER PAYTON||Jackson State|
|JACKIE SLATER||Jackson State|
|DEACON JONES||Mississippi Valley State|
|JERRY RICE||Mississippi Valley State|
|ROOSEVELT BROWN||Morgan State|
|LEN FORD||Morgan State|
|LEROY KELLY||Morgan State|
|WILLIE LANIER||Morgan State|
|ELVIN BETHEA||North Carolina A&T|
|KEN HOUSTON||Prairie View A&M|
|SHANNON SHARPE||Savannah State|
|HARRY CARSON||South Carolina State|
|AENEAS WILLIAMS||Southern University|
|MEL BLOUNT||Southern University|
|RICHARD DENT||Tennessee State|
|CLAUDE HUMPHREY||Tennessee State|
|MICHAEL STRAHAN||Texas Southern|
|ART SHELL||University of Maryland Eastern Shore|
Amber Peters56 Posts
Amber Peters is a current MBA candidate and full-time Accountant. She is a proud Alumna of Texas Southern University. “Faith without work means nothing”