Archive for 'Joe Lillard'

Kenny Washington and the Pro Football Hall of Fame

In my review of the “Forgotten Four” documentary, one of the few things I credited the documentary for was that it, surprisingly, didn’t dwell on Kenny Washington’s weak credentials for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Folks who follow this site know how hard I’ve been campaigning to get Duke Slater (an early African-American pioneer who absolutely had a Hall of Fame career and who has been shockingly and disgracefully overlooked) into the Hall of Fame. So I think some people might expect that I’d be a big supporter of Kenny Washington for the Pro Football Hall of Fame as…

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

In my last post, I listed what most outside experts and historians claim are the reasons behind the NFL’s 1934 color ban – primarily, the Great Depression and George Preston Marshall. I also explained why those two justifications are a crock of hooey, post-hoc revisionist history that doesn’t pass the smell test. Okay, so what was the real reason? Well, simply put: the color ban of 1934 was merely the continuation of a direction NFL owners had been moving in since 1927. Let’s take a closer look. One Era or Two? The biggest mistake these historians make – and you’ll…

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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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