Here’s another name that I didn’t know…Frederick Douglass “Fritz” Pollard. How about you?
He was the first African-American football player at Brown University.
He was also the first African-American coach in the National Football League. And this accomplishment was decades before the civil rights movement of the 1960’s.
I didn’t know. Now I do. And glad that is so!
This passage from an article on Pollard sums it up nicely:
“”My earliest memory of him was when he gave me this football,” Fritz Pollard III, Pollard’s grandson, says with a laugh, “and would take me around in the backyard and show me how to run pass patterns. The first time he knocked me down, I was sort of shocked that he hit me that hard. But then I realized that I wasn’t hurt, so you just get up. And you just keep getting up.” “