Kenny Washington 1946-1948
After graduation, George Halas attempted to sign Washington to the ChicagoBears but was blocked by other NFL owners. Instead, Washington played for the Hollywood Bears of the Pacific Coast Professional Football League from 1941 to 1945.
When the Cleveland Rams moved to Los Angeles, the team sought to play in the publicly owned Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum — a decision which created immediate pressure that the team be racially integrated, since black taxpayers as well as white had paid for construction of the facility. As a result, the team signed Washington on March 21, 1946, followed by fellow African-American UCLA and Hollywood Bears teammate Woddy Stroge on May 7.
Prior to his first NFL season Washington underwent surgery in both knees, having torn cartilage removed from his left knee and what was characterized in the press as "a growth" from his right. The April surgery was successful and Washington was able to recover in time for the July start of the Rams' training camp. Washington later was honor at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum court of honor by the LA Coliseum commissioner. He was inducted to the college football hall of fame in 1956 and his first jersey #13
was retired at UCLA...
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