The Myth of the NFL’s Color Ban: Part One

The myth of the causes of the NFL’s 1934 color ban has been recited over and over so many times that I feel it needs proper refuting. To be clear, despite the catchy, controversial title to this post, I’m not disputing that the color ban in the NFL from 1934-1945 actually existed…I mean, clearly it did. The myth of the NFL’s color ban has to do with why it existed and, more specifically, how it came into being. A Depressing Ban “Forgotten Four” (a recent documentary that I blasted for its shallow, slanted portrayal of the history of African-Americans in…

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State Your Case: Duke Slater

One of my favorite new radio shows to listen to lately is the Talk of Fame show, hosted by Clark Judge, Ron Borges, and Rick Gosselin. These three voters for the Pro Football Hall of Fame discuss pro football history as well as the current NFL, with a focus on potential and future Hall of Fame players. It’s certainly an interesting concept for a show, and the discussions are often very enlightening. One of the best segments of the show, to me, is the “State Your Case” segment, where one member of the show makes the Hall of Fame case…

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The EPIX network recently released a documentary entitled “Forgotten Four: The Integration of Pro Football.” This documentary detailed how Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Bill Willis, and Marion Motley re-integrated pro football in 1946 after a 12-year NFL ban on African-American players. The documentary is, as I expected, a colossal disappointment on so many levels. I guess that means I’m in overall agreement with Variety, which called the documentary “unexpectedly forgettable” and described it as follows: “It’s such a stiff, by-the-numbers approach that ‘Forgotten Four’ provides little insight, feeling like the Hallmark Cards version of an HBO or ESPN ‘30 for…

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