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The Official Student Publication of Page High School

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The Official Student Publication of Page High School

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Kenny Washington: A Football Star

The first African-American to sign a contract with a National Football League team
Kenny Washington: A Football Star

Happy Black History Month! As we all know, this is the time to recognize and celebrate black voices that helped shape our world today. One of the first black footballers who played in the NFL, Kenny Washington, is definitely one of those voices.

Kenneth Stanley Washington was an American professional football player who was the first African-American to sign a contract with a National Football League team.

Despite growing up in humble surroundings, Kenny possessed a relentless determination to succeed. He knew that education was his ticket to a better life, so he constantly studied and often stayed up late to finish his homework. After graduating from high school at the top of his class, Kenny earned a scholarship to a prestigious university, UCLA, which was far from home. At university, Kenny thrived. He immersed himself in his studies, excelling in every subject. But it was on the football field where Kenny truly shone. Blessed with natural talent and an unyielding work ethic, Kenny quickly became a star player on the university football team.

Despite facing discrimination and prejudice because of his race, Kenny refused to let anything stand in the way of his dreams. He silenced his haters with his skill and determination, earning the respect of his teammates and opponents alike. After graduating from university with honors, Kenny set his sights on the ultimate goal: playing professional football. But in those days, the National Football League (NFL) had an unwritten rule barring African American players from joining the league. Still, Kenny refused to give up on his dreams. He joined the Los Angeles Bulldogs, a team in the Pacific Coast Professional Football League, where he continued to showcase his talent and prove his worth on the field.

Finally, in 1946, Kenny’s perseverance paid off when he signed with the Los Angeles Rams, becoming one of the first African American players to break the NFL’s color barrier. His historic achievement paved the way for future generations of African American athletes and forever changed the landscape of professional football.

As Kenny Washington looked back on his remarkable journey, he knew that his dreams had taken him farther than he ever could have imagined. From a small town to the big stadiums of the NFL, Kenny had overcome every obstacle in his path to achieve greatness. And in doing so, he had left an indelible mark on the world and inspired countless others. As the month goes on, continue to appreciate how far the world has come because of people like Kenny! Continue to shine and embrace your flaws because in the end, your flaws will be your greatest strengths.


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About the Contributor
Jane Cockburn
Jane Cockburn, Staff Writer
Hello! My name is Jane Carrington Cockburn. I've been to Jamaica 5 times and once this year. I've also been to France and Iceland. I love playing basketball and exercising. I've lived in 3 states: Florida, Illinois, and North Carolina. My favorite place to live so far is North Carolina. I'm involved in my community. I participated as the Vice President of NJHS and volunteered as a counselor for a couple of camps during the summer. Hopefully I continue to grow and develop in high school, and I can't wait to write for the newspaper!

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