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In a tweet captioned “Post racial America,” Colin Kaepernick’s lawyer shared racist messages sent to him from trolls who are outraged that he’s representing the former 49er in his NFL collusion case. READ MORE: Watch: Michelle Obama officiates wedding for lucky Chicago couple [VIDEO] “This piece of sh*t was never that good anyway,” said a message […]

The post Kaepernick’s lawyer shares racist messages; three players continue protests appeared first on theGrio.

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Anthem Protests, Colin Kaepernick national anthem, National, News, NFL Discussing new rules, Race, Sports -

ATLANTA (AP) — NFL owners approved a new policy Thursday aimed at addressing the firestorm […]

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When Branch Rickey bulldozed Major League Baseball’s color wall by signing Jackie Robinson in 1947, he also introduced the concept of integration into the modern era of American sports.

Two years later, the NBA welcomed black players. By 1958, even the National Hockey League had integrated its ranks.

It wasn’t until 1962 that the last of the NFL’s teams—notably, the one whose mascot remains a widely recognized, racist caricature—signed African-American players.

Today’s National Football League is fully integrated.

Close to 70 percent of its players are Black and there is one Latino and seven Black head coaches. Troy Vincent, a Black retired player, is the league’s executive vice president of football operations and widely considered Commissioner Roger Goodell’s right hand man.

The league’s unofficial blackballing of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and of player social justice protests alienated many fans and left some comparing the league to a modern plantation.

The NFL has the weakest player’s union among the four major leagues. Its players have the least power in free agency, are guaranteed the least money in their contracts and have the worst post-retirement benefits despite the fact the average NFL career is shorter and more dangerous than other pro sports.

The league’s owners are mostly billionaires and entirely white, while basketball and baseball (albeit not hockey) have scant black ownership interests.

How did we get here and is there any indication with ratings dropping and constant conversations about race, politics and protests that changes are on the horizon?

To answer these questions, it’s important to first look at the most critical moments for African Americans in the NFL’s racially-tinged history to see exactly where all this could be headed.

Segregation and George Marshall

Because of Jackie Robinson, baseball gets all the credit for shattering color barriers in sports.

But the NFL, which was started back in the 1920s, actually included a few black players at its inception. Remember, baseball was the country’s national pastime and while college football was certainly beloved, professional football barely registered.

Once it started to make a genuine impact in 1933, black players were unofficially banned. Then, in 1946, the Los Angeles Rams signed running back Kenny Washington as the first black man to infiltrate the league. It wasn’t until 1962, though, that the Washington Redskins (a nickname reviled for its origins as a slur against Native Americans) became the very last NFL team to integrate as owner, George P. Marshall begrudgingly caved in.

Marshall, a hardline segregationist, loathed the idea of black players in the league and it’s believed that he was a driving force behind the original unwritten ban. Although his team’s racist nickname endures, he probably turned in his grave in 1987 when Hall of Famer Doug Williams became the first African American quarterback to take his team—or any—to the Super Bowl.

Then there are those Black QBs

Colin Kaepernick is far from the first Black signal caller to get the cold shoulder from the league. Even after black players filled NFL rosters, becoming a QB was mostly unattainable.

James “Shack” Harris was drafted in 1969 by the Bills but almost quit football after being waived rather than play outside the position where he excelled during his college years at Grambling. By 1974, he was picked up by the Rams and led them to the playoffs before being benched in favor of Ron Jaworski.

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Anthem Protests, Colin Kaepernick, Laila Ali, Muhammad Ali, National Anthem, News, NFL, Oppression, Police Brutality, Protests -

Some have compared Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protest to the actions of boxing legend Muhammad Ali during his storied career...

The post Laila Ali: ‘I don’t ever expect anyone to be like my father’ appeared first on theGrio.

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