Discrimination In Early College Sports

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When it comes to early college sports African Americans had a hard time on the field. They faced the threat that even if they were the best player on the team they could be benched against segregated schools. The African American athlete faced many problems in their fight for equality including being benched against a segregated school, threats from other team’s player, and colleges
“From 1938 to 1941, the UCLA football team served as an important exception to the ‘gentlemen’s agreement’----the standard, unwritten rule that allowed coaches to bench black athletes during intercollegiate contest with segregated colleges and university” (Demas, 28). This showed the struggle great African Americans player had to face. When three great players in UCLA history, Kenneth Washington, one of the most celebrated college football players on the west coast and many consider him on of the greatest players in UCLA history, according to Demas, Jackie Robinson who excelled in football, baseball, basketball, and track, and Woody Strode a powerful starting end and shot put thrower, all could have been
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Black athletes believed that schools were stacking and over recruiting players usually running backs, wide receivers, and defensive backs. Black athletes at many schools filed grievances for schools to hire black coaches and black administrators. Black players were sometimes suspended indefinitely for vague reasons. Thirteen African American players at the University of Washington were suspended for “not expressing a 100 percent commitment to Husky football” which was apparently because they refused to take a loyalty oath (Demas, 111). Fourteen black football players were dismissed from Indiana University’s team because they boycotting practice because of a coaching atmosphere that was “mentally depressing and morally discouraging to blacks” (Demas,

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