The following is excerpted from the Church Newsroom. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.
To kick off its observance of Black History Month, the College Football Hall of Fame honored the Black 14 with a two-day event February 5-6, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. Local leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and representatives from Brigham Young University participated.
The Hall of Fame invited Mel Hamilton, John Griffin and Tony McGee of the Black 14 to join the event, which included a food donation in partnership with the Church of Jesus Christ and screenings of a short film about the Black 14 produced by BYU students.
“It’s an honor for us to be here and be recognized for what we did,” John Griffin said of being at the College Football Hall of Fame. “It was a tragedy that’s been turned into philanthropy.”
The former University of Wyoming athletes were three of the school’s 14 Black players dismissed from the team in 1969 prior to a game against BYU after asking their coach if they could protest a policy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that prevented Black men from priesthood ordination. The Church’s policy was changed in 1978.
Since then, the group has reconciled with the University of Wyoming, BYU and the Church. In 2019, the surviving members of the Black 14 started the Black 14 Philanthropy to give back to the community and help those in need. They began collaborating with the Church in 2020 to donate food to food banks around the country.
“I want people to realize that revenge is not going to get you anywhere,” Hamilton said. “Hate is not going to get you anywhere. Try to think of a way to turn that bad incident around to the benefit of others. That’s my takeaway.”
To read the full article, CLICK HERE.