Pro Football Color Ban Couldn’t Deny HBCU History Of Talent

It’s a question seldom asked, much less explained: Why is ending the color barrier celebrated in baseball and rarely mentioned in pro football?

Every year on April 15, Major League Baseball celebrates the day Jackie Robinson played his first big league game in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking the color barrier in America’s national pastime. Professional football offers no such recognition, even though an informal agreement barred black players from 1933 to 1945. For all the notoriety Jackson deservedly receives, black players who integrated pro football have gotten little recognition for their efforts.

Written by Howard University professor Alois Ricky Clemons, ‘Inbounds’ lists every player from a historically black college or university who played professional football from 1949 to 2020.

That may change with the publication of a new book, “INBOUNDS: The Evolution of Historical Black College Players in Professional Football.” Written by Howard University professor Alois Ricky Clemons,


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