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Keyshawn Johnson Wants the N.F.L. to Remember Its ‘Forgotten Four’

  • August 06, 2022

BOB GLAUBER This is not a particularly righteous story, banning Black players. And now, Black players make up approximately 70 percent of the entire rosters of the N.F.L. The league did not cover itself in glory with this story.

That said, when we went to the league and kind of looked for analysis and opinion, starting with Roger Goodell, he owned it. He said: “That story is true, and we can’t change that and we have to accept it.”

The four players, they had diverging careers: Some lasted longer. Some lasted, actually, quite briefly. Do any of their personal stories resonate louder with you, Keyshawn?

JOHNSON It’s just more about how they were treated by some of their teammates, both good and bad. Those stories always stick to me. How people like George Preston Marshall vindictively treated people, yet was still able to own a team and want Black players to serve him. To me, it’s mind boggling. At the same time, these players to still fight through it and not let it own them or take their spirits away for doing stuff that they want to do, which was play professional sports. Motley got basically blackballed, couldn’t play or coach in the National Football League, but he continued to fight through it. That perseverance, that mental toughness is what it’s all about to me.

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