CLOSE
Leave a comment

The NFL has found itself at the center of a political firestorm with currently unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick igniting a huge debate. Fans have been discussing a boycott of the league this year in support of Kaepernick and his peaceful protests, causing some to look back at a 1965 pro football boycott along similar racial lines.

The now-defunct American Football League was a major pro football league in direct competition with the National Football League in the sixties. Like the NFL, the AFL held annual All-Star contests to recognize the standout players in the league. At the conclusion of the 1964-65 season, the continued integration of sports and was thought to reflect the same changes in society.

The 1965 AFL All-Star game was slated to be played at Tulane University’s stadium in Louisiana. Players were promised they’d be treated well, but quickly discovered that racism was still firmly in place. Players complained of restaurants refusing to seat and serve them, and cabs would routinely ignore players looking to be driven to area hotels.

Buffalo Bills star Cookie Gilchrist, Kansas City Chief’s standout Abner Haynes, and other Black players voiced their concerns and all 21 of them elected to not suit up for the game. Several white players, such as Hall of Fame inductee Ron Mix, and Buffalo Bills star and Republican politician, the late Jack Kemp, stood with the Black players in protest.

Under pressure, the AFL’s leadership moved the game to Houston’s Jeppesen Stadium where the West vanquished the East team 38-14.

Today, some fans are staging their own boycott of the NFL after Kaepernick’s silent protest against police brutality polarized fans on both sides of the debate. Many NFL players have chosen to follow Kaepernick’s lead and kneel during the “National Anthem,” and once more the issue of race in America has overshadowed the game.

Kaepernick’s inability to secure an NFL gig has been noted by current players, such as Seattle Seahawks defensive all-star Richard Sherman, who says many quarterbacks with lesser skills than the former Super Bowl QB are earning roster spots.

The #TakeAKnee” protest that inspired owners and players to show their solidarity after President Donald Trump called them ‘sons of bitches’ was viewed as obscuring the reason for Kaepernick’s protest in the first place, which was the continued prevalence of police brutality.

Kaepernick, who is biracial and was raised by a white adoptive family, has yet to comment on his future in the NFL or his feelings on any current protests.

Like BlackAmericaWeb.com on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram

Share your email below to receive our daily newsletter!

5 thoughts on “Little Known Black History Fact: AFL Boycott

  1. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE NFL IS NOT A “POLITICAL FIRESTORM, IT’S WHITE SUPREMACY !!! LET’S CALL IT WHAT IT IS, SO THAT AMERICANS CAN BE ON THE SAME PAGE. CRITICAL THINKING IS REQUIRED. TRUMP IS RIGHT ABOUT THE MEDIA. THEY HAVE THEIR OWN AGENDA AND DON’T WANT TO TOUCH THE SUBJECT OF WHITE SUPREMACY IN AMERICA. WE NEED A SUMMIT THAT WILL HELP AMERICANS ACCEPT THE REALITY OF WHITE SUPREMACY IN THEIR EVERYDAY LIVES. THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEND THIS MESSAGE.

  2. The Truth on said:

    If people can’t see the racism and bitterness 45 brings shame on them. Everyone on The Hill that continues to support him KNOWING he is WRONG will eventually get bit by that snake. We all remember the story of Pharaoh and his army and they knew that Pharaoh was Wrong and they continue to follow and fight for him away. You know how the story ended. This is Our Bible Story…DO THE RIGHT THING A REMOVE THE EVIL.

    • YOU ARE RIGHT. WHEN YOU SAY “YOU CAN’T FIX WHAT YOU WON’T ACKNOWLEDGE.” I AM A BLACK SENIOR CITIZEN AND FINALLY REALIZE HOW PERVASIVE WHITE SUPREMACY HAS BEEN AND STILL IS IN MY LIFE & OUR WORLD. THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENT.

Add Your Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s