Sept 18, 1919: Pollard Breaks NFL Color Barrier (temporarily)

Fritz Pollard Breaks Football Color Barrier (temporarily)

Pollard, who led Brown University to the Rose Bowl while in college, was the first African-American to be named All-American. In 1919, he became the first African-American NFL player, playing for the Akron Pros who would win the NFL title in 1920.  In 1921, he became the co-head coach of the Akron Pros, while still maintaining his roster position as running back. He also played for the Milwaukee Badgers, Hammond Pros, Gilberton Cadamounts, Union Club of Phoenixville and Providence Steam Roller, before he and 8 other African-Americans were removed from the league at the end of the 1926 season. Black players would not return to the NFL until 1946, with the Washington Redskins being the last team to integrate in 1962. Pollard was elected to the NFL Hall of Fame in 2005, 9 years after his death.


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