Keyshawn Talks About “The Forgotten First” on The Drive
I consider myself a pretty well educated sports fan. I became aware of the racial injustices in sports at a very early age. One of my first book reports was about "From Ghetto to Glory the Bob Gibson Story." It was not the eye opening experience that I expected at that age. Soon after my dad and I happened to be at a Mets game and Jackie Robinson had been honored. I thought that was so cool. Then less than a year later, Jackie Robinson died. Racism in sports became a true interest.
I have read no less than a dozen books about the Negro Baseball Leagues and some of its players. I am and always have been a big NFL fan. Yet, I had no idea who Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Marion Motley and Bill Willis were until last week when I received my preview copy of The Forgotten First by former New York Jets first round draft pick and star of the ESPN Radio morning show, Keyshawn Johnson and Bob Glauber, a long time NFL columnist with Newsday.
Who are those four guys? No one forgot because no one seems to have recognized their historic contribution to the NFL in the first place. On Friday, Glauber and the former NFL All-Pro receiver joined The Drive with Charlie & Dan. Johnson talked about his own lack of knowledge of these four players and what they did to breakdown the racial barrier in the NFL.
Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Marion Motley and Bill Willis were the first four black players in the NFL/AFL after NFL owners posted a 12 year ban on black players. Those four ended it in 1946. This is a fascinating, well written book and if you are a sports fan like me, you won't believe that you didn't know who these are. Actually, given the NFL's own lack of recognition of these players, according to Bob Glauber, the 75th anniversary, which is 2021, would be the perfect time to celebrate them. We agree. The Forgotten First is out now and available wherever you buy your books. Check out the entire interview below.