The professional sports competitions of the past were very different from the games that are played today since establishments such as restaurants, hotels, performance venues, and stadiums were all distinct from one another and frequently not even comparable.
In many American cities, racial prejudice was considered to be the cultural norm during the late 1940s, and the Jim Crow legal system was still in effect in the southern and border states.
In spite of the hostile social climate of the time (and twenty years before the Civil Rights Act of 1964), four brave individuals contributed to the integration of the National Football League in 1946.
This was one year before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional baseball. Four men whose names are not widely known or recognized are credited with laying the groundwork for what would become a diverse league of the top athletes in the world.
At this present time, more than 65 percent of the league’s players are of African-American descent.
Who was the first black NFL player?
The first African-American (Black) player to play in the NFL during its early years was Fritz Pollard in 1920. The NFL owners enacted a “gentleman’s agreement” prohibiting the signing of additional black players in the years following Fritz’s departure, though.