How Bobby Grier Integrated One of College Football’s Biggest Games

The day after a black woman refused to give up her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama, the United States’ latest battle for civil rights grabbed the headlines. The various facts which caught the attention of the country at the beginning of December 1955 did not however concern Rosa Parks, but the footballer of the University of Pittsburgh Bobby Grier.

The 22-year-old black full-back with a hesitant knee has been propelled into the national spotlight not because of his footballing exploits but because of the color of his skin. At a time when many southern states barred African Americans from attending public universities, officials in segregated New Orleans invited Grier’s team to play Georgia Tech in the 1956 Sugar Bowl.

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