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Mon, 01.11.1965

Black Football Players boycott AFL All-Star game

On this date in 1965, Black pro football players boycotted the AFL All-Star game in New Orleans.  This was the first boycott of a city by any professional sporting event in sports history.

After the 1964 American Football League season, the AFL All-Star Game had been scheduled for early 1965 in New Orleans' Tulane Stadium.  That weekend Black players with the AFL’s Buffalo Bills had trouble getting a taxi or even basic service at restaurants.  The team discussed the situation at a meeting and agreed to boycott the game as a statement against the racist conditions in the city.

Under the leadership of Buffalo Bills players, including Carlton Chester "Cookie" Gilchrist, the players put up a unified front, and the game was successfully moved to Houston's Jeppesen Stadium, which by that time had made progress toward more equal treatment in public accommodations.

The Exclusion of Blacks from the National Football League, 1934-1946
By Thomas G. Smith, Professor of History, Nichols College
The Coffin Corner Volume XI
Originally publisher, The Journal of Sport History


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