Coupon
Lost Champions : Four Men, Two Teams, and the Breaking of Pro Football S Color Line
by Gretchen Atwood


Overview -

Many know the story of Jackie Robinson integrating major league baseball in 1947. But few know that the NFL integrated a year earlier, when Kenny Washington stepped on the field for the Los Angeles Rams.
He wasn't the only one. Four men broke pro football's color line in 1946, Kenny Washington and Woody Strode with the Los Angeles Rams and Bill Willis and Marion Motley with the Cleveland Browns.  Read more...


 
Hardcover
  • Retail Price: $27.00
  • $20.40
    (Save 24%)
  • 10% Off for Members Club Price
    $ 18.36

Add to Cart + Add to Wishlist

In Stock.

FREE Shipping for Club Members
 
> Check In-Store Availability

In-Store pricing may vary

 
 
 
 

More About Lost Champions by Gretchen Atwood
 
 
 
Overview

Many know the story of Jackie Robinson integrating major league baseball in 1947. But few know that the NFL integrated a year earlier, when Kenny Washington stepped on the field for the Los Angeles Rams.
He wasn't the only one. Four men broke pro football's color line in 1946, Kenny Washington and Woody Strode with the Los Angeles Rams and Bill Willis and Marion Motley with the Cleveland Browns.
Lost Champions traces this history from the early 1930s--when NFL owners first instituted a ban on black players--through pro football's re-integration, to the 1950 NFL Championship Game, which pitted the Rams and Browns against each other in a showdown of the most prolific and advanced offenses pro football had ever seen.
But the battle wasn't just waged on the gridiron. Lost Champions shows how efforts to integrate sports sits within the often-ignored history of the civil rights movement in the 1940s. The four players faced animosity and death threats for their role in integration while they and all black Americans were threatened in 1946 by a spike in lynchings, threat of legal expulsion from their own homes, and segregation all the way down to the simple act of going to an amusement park for a bit of relaxation.
Finally, Lost Champions explains why these men and their stories have for so long languished in the shadow of Jackie Robinson, and why they too deserve widespread acclaim for integrating what is arguably the most popular sport in America.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781620406007
  • ISBN-10: 1620406004
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publish Date: September 2016
  • Page Count: 288


Related Categories

Books > Sports & Recreation > Football - General
Books > History > United States - 20th Century
Books > Sports & Recreation > History

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-07-25
  • Reviewer: Staff

Focusing on the 1946 Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Rams, sports journalist Atwood provides snapshots of the pro football game from the days of the old-T and the single-wing offense up to 1950, by which time most NFL teams ran a version of the modern-T offense. Before the early 1930s, many ranked professional football on the same level as pro-wrestling. But in 1946, a string of events challenged segregation. The NFL team Cleveland Rams relocated to Los Angeles and, through some coaxing, signed former UCLA Bruins players Kenny Washington and Woody Strode. At nearly the same time, the Cleveland Browns of the All-American Football Conference (AAFC) signed Bill Willis and Marion Motley. Off the field, both cities had racial roadblocks for their citizens. Los Angeles County had seen a significant increase in antiblack restrictive housing covenants from 1920 up to 1946; in Cleveland, an interracial group launched a protest at Euclid Beach Park over the exclusionary policies that prevented black residents from using public facilities. That same summer, the nation saw a spike in lynching, including a quadruple lynching at Moore’s Ford Bridge, Ga. Though these events mostly occurred independently and were spread throughout the country, Atwood succeeds in laying them out like a modern-day pro offense, powering the book’s narrative with the march to the 1950 NFL championship between the two teams that integrated professional football. (Oct.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews