Gelatin silver print
Image: 21.9 x 32.7 cm (8 5/8 x 12 7/8 in.); Paper: 27.7 x 35.4 cm (10 7/8 x 13 15/16 in.)
Gift of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg 2016.294
© Leonard Freed /Magnum Photos
In 2020, Black athletes comprised 70% of the National Football League players.
This photograph was taken as part of a multiyear photographic exploration of the fabric of daily African American life that Leonard Freed titled Black in White America. The players shown are likely from a college or amateur team, but some of them may have dreamed of turning pro. The National Football League had a few Black players in 1920, when it originated, but none between 1933 and 1945. In 1962, the year before this photograph, the Washington Redskins become the final NFL team to integrate; they did so under threat of civil-rights legal action.
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