THE BLACK 14
The Black 14 is a story of fourteen black student-athletes from the 1969 University of Wyoming football team who were unfairly and under great controversy, kicked off the collegiate football team in response to their request to their head coach to stand in solidarity with the Black Students' Alliance (BSA) who had plans to protest during an upcoming game versus Brigham Young University (BYU).
The BSA announced plans to protest UW's participation in the game because of a tenet held by the church that owns BYU which then provided that African-Americans could not ascend to the priesthood. The BSA release stated that using university facilities and student monies to play host to BYU sanctioned that tenet. The tenet was revoked by the LDS Church after a revelation in 1978. At mid-morning on the Friday of that week, the 14 African-American players on the team went to the office of head coach Lloyd Eaton to discuss how they might show solidarity with the B.S.A. They were in civilian clothes and were wearing black armbands. Before they could say anything, Coach Eaton took the group into the upper stands of the Fieldhouse and told them they were all off the team.
In this current era of fractured race relations and social inequalities, athletes are using their platforms more than ever to elevate their voices to speak truth to power. The story of The Black 14 remains an important story to learn from and propel the conversation of the injustices the plague our society.
This year, we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of The Black 14 and encourage you to support the surviving members as they continue to share their story to encourage and uplift student and professional athletes. Most importantly, the Black 14 will embark on a college and university tour to create an open dialogue on how administrators can listen, engage and responsibly support their student-athletes.
Navigate to our About The Black 14 tab to learn more information.