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Sat, 12.05.1936

John Wooten, NFL Player, and Historian born

John Wooten

*John Wooten was born on this date in 1936.  He is a Black retired American football player and current administrator. 

John B. Wooten was born in Riverview, Texas.  His family then moved to Carlsbad, New Mexico and he attended segregated schools through the 9th grade, before attending the newly integrated Carlsbad High School.  

Wooten first played high school football as a sophomore in 1952, and he eventually earned All-State honors in football and basketball. He received offers to play football at Dartmouth College, Florida A&M University, UCLA, the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University, but chose to go to the University of Colorado at Boulder instead.  

He joined the team in 1955 and became the second Black varsity football player in the program's history.  As a senior, Wooten earned American Football Coaches Association All-America honors and was selected to play in the Chicago College All-Star Game. He is believed to be one of the first Blacks to earn All-America honors playing a position in the interior line.  He graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. 

Wooten was drafted in the fifth round (53rd overall) of the 1959 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, where he would play left guard for the next nine seasons. During that time, he blocked for Jim Brown. The Browns defeated the Baltimore Colts, 27–0, to win the 1964 NFL Championship Game. They also played in the 1965 NFL Championship Game and lost to the Green Bay Packers, 23–12. In 1979, he was named to the Browns All-Time All-Star Team.

In 1967, he was one of the supporters at the Cleveland Summit.  This episode supported Muhammad Ali’s refusal to be drafted into the Vietnam war.  In July 1968, Wooten demanded a trade from the Browns after a dispute with the organization involving an all-white Browns' golf outing in Ashland, Ohio. On July 19, 1968, he was released from the Browns. The Washington Redskins signed Wooten in August, and he played his final year with them.

In 2003, Wooten became the Chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, an advocacy group who works in conjunction with the National Football League as it relates to minority hiring in coaching, scouting and front office positions.

Wooten was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2012.  He was also selected as one of 25 members of Colorado's All-Century Team in 1989, honoring the school’s first 100 years of intercollegiate football. In 2010, Wooten was inducted into the Browns Ring of Honor, as well as the Browns Legends program.

Currently he is a "Football GM & Scouting" instructor for the online sports-career training school Sports Management Worldwide,

To become a Professional Athlete

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