'Forgotten Four' trailblazers, who reintegrated professional football, selected for HOF Pioneer Award

The Pro Football Hall of Fame will acknowledge the “Forgotten Four” trendsetters at this year’s enshrinement event. Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Bill Willis, and Marion Motley were called the receivers of the Ralph Hay Pioneer Award, which exists to people who are “significant innovative contributions to professional football.”

“The selection of these four men as the Ralph Hay Pioneer Award winners could not be more fitting,” Hall President Jim Porter stated. “Individually and collectively, they made one of the most profound cultural shifts in pro football history when they broke pro football’s color barrier, thus ending years of racial segregation. Their pioneering role not only opened the door to opportunity for generations of NFL players to come, but it also changed the game forever.”

The Hall of Fame has actually just provided the award 10 times, the last being Joe Browne in 2016 after operating in the league for more than 50 years. Past receivers of the award consist of John Facenda, Steve Sabol, and the City of Pottsville, Pennsylvania. 

Washington, Strode, Willis, and Motley reintegrated expert football in 1946 after the video game included no African American gamers in the 1930s. Washington and Strode signed with the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams while Willis and Motley signed with the Cleveland Browns of the All-American Football Conference. 

Willis and Motley were chosen to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as crucial factors of the Browns dynasty. Motley led the league in hurrying two times and was a two-time All-Pro choice. Willis was a star protective middle guard and chose an All-Pro 7 times. 

Washington played 2 seasons with the Rams and balanced 6.14 backyards per bring while Strode played the 1946 season with Los Angeles. 

Fritz Pollard and Duke Slater were the very first 2 gamers to incorporate the video game of football with Pollard signing up with the NFL in 1920 and Slater in 1922. 

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