REUTERS

HBCU Hall of Fame Players Honored at Super Bowl

The National Football League (NFL) honored Pro Football Hall of Fame players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) before the start of Sunday’s Super Bowl LIbattle between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots, who won in overtime, 34-28.


Following an almost year-long partnership between the Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF) and the Pro Football Hall of Fame (PFHOF), the NFL “reached out with the great concept of shining a light on the Historically Black Colleges and Universities by introducing those HBCUs Gold Jackets at Super Bowl LI,” PFHOF President and CEO Dave Baker said in a statement.

Of the 303 members of the PFHOF, 29 attended HBCUs. Grambling State University President Rick Gallot said in an interview that the amount of hall of famers that graduated from HBCUs highlights “the importance of HBCUs and how we have played a significant role in producing some of the greatest players to ever put on a helmet and shoulder pads.”

Atlanta Falcons team members who played in Sunday’s Super Bowl, Deji Olatoye (A&T State University) and Eric Weems (Bethune Cookman University), attended HBCUs as well.

Doug Williams, a graduate of Grambling State and MVP of Super Bowl XXII, was thenarrator of a video that preceded the ceremony.

“There was a time when we judged football players by the color of their skin, before the content of their character,” Williams said.

“Some [attended HBCUs] by choice, many by necessity the honor of their deeds opened the nation to racial equality.”

View the NFL’s video of the ceremony

Pro Football Hall of Famers who attended HBCUs

Lem Barney, Jackson State; Elvin Bethea, North Carolina A&T; Mel Blount, Southern University; the late Roosevelt Brown, Morgan State; Willie Brown, Grambling State; the late Buck Buchanan, Grambling State; Harry Carson, South Carolina State; Willie Davis, Grambling State; Richard Dent, Tennessee State; the late Bob Hayes, Florida A&M; Claude Humphrey, Tennessee State; the late Len Ford, Morgan State; Bob Hayes, Florida A&M; Ken Houston, Prairie View A&M; Charlie Joiner, Grambling State; the late Deacon Jones, Mississippi Valley State; Leroy Kelly, Morgan State; Willie Lanier, Morgan State; Larry Little, Bethune Cookman; the late Walter Payton, Jackson State; Jerry Rice, Mississippi Valley State; Shannon Sharpe, Savannah State; Art Shell, University of Maryland Eastern Shore; Jackie Slater, Jackson State; John Stallworth, Alabama A&M; Michael Strahan, Texas Southern; Emmitt Thomas, Bishop; Aeneas Williams, Southern University; and Rayfield Wright, Fort Valley State.

The BCFHOF is now part of the new Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village in Canton, Ohio, adding to the history and association of HBCUs and their players’ influence on the game.

Many responded to the segment on social media.

Actor LeVar Burton, who had an iconic role in the TV miniseries “Roots,” tweeted:

Other Twitter users agreed:

HBCUs have produced both athletic talent and academic talent. The institutions make up just 3 percent of colleges and universities in the United States yet produce 27 percent of Black students with bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields, according to U.S. Department of Education (DOE) data.

On the campaign trail and in his first two weeks of office, President Donald Trump has not disclosed, publicly, policy positions on HBCUs. Trump hosted a “listening session” on Wednesday for his African American supporters and administrationmembers, which included questionable Frederick Douglass comments. TheGrio.com reported on Sunday that a group of Republican leaders plan to meet with heads of HBCUs this month to discuss ways to advance the institutions.

Latest News

KPMG Launches ‘Elevate’ to Help Companies Enhance Performance, Realize Savings and Build New Capabilities

Nearly 75 Percent of All Business Transformation Initiatives Fail to Achieve Revenue and Margin Goals Originally published on home.kmpg. COVID-19 has exacerbated existing business challenges for some companies while creating new ones for others. Both circumstances require agile, precise enterprise-wide assessment and improvement. Elevate, the next generation of KPMG’s Performance Improvement…

The Michigan Moonshot Partners with Toyota and Cisco to Expand Wi-Fi Access in Detroit, Inkster, Flint and Washtenaw County, Michigan

Originally published on pressroom.toyota.com. Residents of Detroit, Inkster, Flint and Washtenaw County will soon benefit from expanded free Wi-Fi access at more than 50 community locations across S.E. Michigan.  The effort, part of Merit Network’s Michigan Moonshot initiative, was supported by contributions from the Toyota USA Foundation and Cisco. Washtenaw Intermediate School District and…

Pascal Desroches

AT&T Chief Financial Officer John Stephens to Retire in March 2021. WarnerMedia’s Pascal Desroches to Succeed Stephens

Originally published on att.com. AT&T [DiversityInc Hall of Fame company] Chief Financial Officer John Stephens has announced his plans to retire next March after 28 years with the company. WarnerMedia CFO Pascal Desroches has been named to succeed Stephens, effective April 1, 2021. During the transition period, Desroches will serve as…

Atatiana Jefferson

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Police Shooting of Atatiana Jefferson; Drug Industry Announces Diversity Guidelines in Development of New Medications; and More

Wrongful death lawsuit filed in the fatal shooting of Atatiana Jefferson by police. Family members of Atatiana Jefferson, a 28-year-old Black woman who was fatally shot by police through a window in her own home, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Fort Worth, Texas and the…