Football season has started again. Our beloved 49ers have already lost a game and won a game. Their next regular game is Friday at home at Levi’s Stadium.
Here is a quick view of Training Camp 2016:
In order to play in the professional leagues, you usually need to be drafted from a college team. It may be hard to remember that in 1966, some of those we now regard as the greatest football players during the last 50 years were not allowed to play in colleges in the south due to segregation. Some African American players proved to be exceptional on and off the field.
Gene Washington was born in Alabama, and played football for Long Beach(CA)Poly High School. In 1965, he was his high school’s first black student body president. After enrolling at Stanford University, he became the second black member of his fraternity, Delta Tau Delta, and was the first black quarterback for the Cardinal. When he started at Stanford, there were only 25 African American students out of the 10,000 students enrolled. He was drafted by the 49ers in the first round in 1969.
He left the 49ers in 1977 and spent a year with the Detroit Lions. Then after spending time getting some acting gigs, and returning to Stanford as the Assistant Athletic Director, he became the Director of Football Operations for the National Football League in 1994. He retired in 2009. In 2004, Washington was named as one of Sports Illustrated’s “101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports.”
Washington tried acting. Here is the introduction to an episode called, “The Connection,” from The Mod Squad from 1972.
Washington joined the board of directors of Beacon House for a personal reason: