Race & The NFL: A Timeline

From Charles Follis being the first Black professional football player to Colin Kaepernick’s on-the-field activism, race has always been a hurdle in the NFL.

Follis made his first appearance in 1902 as part of the Shelby Blues and it’d be another 18 years before a Black man—named Fritz Pollard—would be considered for a coaching job and dominate his first season. The league may now be 70% Black, but being vocal about your views as a Black man can get you shunned from the league.

Check out the journey of Black players in the NFL here.

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