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Special programming on African American QB Jimmy Raye, other Black NFL icons, and Black cowboys
In February, the NFL Network will celebrate Black History Month with special programming throughout the month, including presentation of “The Indelible Legacy of Jimmy Raye,” a unique episode of the Emmy award-winning series ‘NFL 360’ that explores how one man’s story broke color barriers and changed football forever.
NFL 360: “The Indelible Legacy of Jimmy Raye” will air Tuesday, February 7, at 8 p.m. EST on the NFL Network.
“Jimmy Raye was an exceptional athlete, but he was also a trailblazer,” said Angela Ellis, VP of Entertainment & Initiatives at NFL Media. “He became the first Black starting quarterback from the South to win a national championship, forging a path for Black players and coaches after him.”
In the 1960s, with Black athletes facing racial challenges and the perception that they were incapable of playing quarterback, Jimmy Raye followed Coach Duffy Daugherty’s “Underground Railroad” to Michigan State. There, he becomes a star signal caller and went on to inspire a generation of Black players and coaches.
According to the NFL, which produced the film on Raye, NFL 360 is the NFL Network’s news anthology show of record that will air throughout the season. The show provides NFL players the opportunity to shine a light on the people, places and moments that are important to them through in-depth documentary storytelling.
NFL 360 co-creator Dallas Hitchcock said, “The Indelible Legacy of Jimmy Raye explores Jimmy’s story, not just because it’s about sports, but because it’s about courage, determination and leadership. This story is bigger than football.”
In addition to “The Indelible Legacy of Jimmy Raye,” other special programming on the NFL Network celebrating Black History Month will include “A True American Hero: The Rise of the Black Cowboy,” Arizona Cardinals Kelvin Beachum’s look at the history of Black cavalry soldiers and cowboys in the Super Bowl’s host state (Tuesday, February 7, on the NFL Network at 3 p.m. ET).
Starting Monday, February 20, the NFL Network will continue to honor Black History Month with a weeklong celebration of Black icons who have shaped the history of the NFL. Black History Month programming on the NFL Network during the week of February 20 will include:
The group will show the debut of a new season compilation of NFL CityLife on Tuesday, February 21, on the NFL Network at 8 p.m. ET.
Following the two programs, the 2nd annual HBCU Legacy Bowl will take place at Yulman Stadium at Tulane University. This postseason all-star game will showcase the best NFL draft-eligible players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, airing on Saturday, February 25, at 4 p.m. ET, exclusively on the the NFL Network.
Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.