Fitz Pollard (Public Domain photo)

The Fritz Pollard League Foundation is honored to host the 100th anniversary celebration of the first NFL African American head coach and recognize other iconic legends who have made contributions in the field of sports.

The Foundation will also launch the Fritz Pollard Alliance Academy, its flagship program, that will expose youth to the business of sports.

Who: Fritz Pollard became the first African American head coach of the NFL Akron professional team in 1921. In 1915, Pollard was also one of the first African American players in the NFL. Wallace

Triplett was the first African American drafted player to play in an NFL game. Triplett was drafted in 1949 and played for the Detroit Lions in 1950. Willie Horton, a Detroit Tiger and local hero was the first African American to serve as a special assistant to the president/CEO/general manager of a Detroit sports organization. The Detroit Lions will be recognized for their diverse hiring in the team’s current leadership. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and other sports luminaries have been invited.

“We are honored to recognize these extraordinary honorees for their commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity,” said Rod Graves, executive director of Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation. “In addition, we are excited about the Academy’s impact in shaping our future leaders.”

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