A Bunch Of Fifth Graders Want The First Black NFL Player Inducted Into The Hall of Fame

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A group of fifth graders at Johnson City Intermediate school were tasked with a school assignment that has taken on more meaning than simply earning a good grade.

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While doing their Civil Rights project, students questioned who was the first player to break the NFL’s color barrier. After doing research they learned Kenny Washington, one year before Jackie Robinson entered the baseball league, Washington integrated the NFL.

However, according to a petition on Change.org, students at the New York school also learned Washington, a former Los Angeles Rams player, hasn’t been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame .

“Kenny Washington was a trailblazer. He brought opportunities for all of  those who followed. “Lift others as you rise.” Kenny Washington did that for NFL players,” the petition reads. “Today, African-American players account for more than 60% of the NFL. Kenny Washington persuaded the Rams to also sign his UCLA teammate, Woody Strode. The men were unwelcome in the league.”

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The petition has received more than 6,000 signatures at the time of this post and is just short of its 7,500 goal. A woman named Melanie Cohen firmly believes Washington needs his just due.

“I maybe biased, but as Kenny Washington’s grand daughter, I believe that this is long overdue.”

Indeed.