Fascinating podcast about James Harris, the first black NFL quarterback who withstood Civil Rights era hate and ultimately led the LA Rams to the two NFC Championship Games in row.
One of the commentators makes a good argument as to why Harris starting at Quarterback for the Buffalo Bills and later the Los Angeles Rams was the most significant single feat in the desegregation of professional sports.
When a player falls off the TV screen it is easy to not notice where they went. I didn’t realize that after two very strong seasons, being voted team captain and MVP of the Pro Bowl he was traded away to San Diego where he became Dan Fouts’s backup. Not something that ever happened to a white all-pro quarterback at the height of his career.
I was surprised to learn that after old fashioned race attitudes forced him out of a starting QB role and later retired, he remained employed in a suit and tie by the NFL until 2015.
This is a podcast from Us & Them, Trey Kay’s Public Radio program that explores contentious social issues through the voices of the people who actually experience them first hand.
And while this one doesn’t so much take an Us vs. Them approach, I found this one of the most fascinating episodes. Not just because I am a football fan, but because of what I learned about the all-black colleges in the South and the very different priorities student athletes had there compared to the major predominantly white universities, etc.