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The Johnny Bright Incident (1951) Options
Daemon
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 12:00:00 AM
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The Johnny Bright Incident (1951)

The Johnny Bright Incident was an allegedly racially-motivated on-field assault against black football star Johnny Bright by white player Wilbanks Smith during a college football game between Bright's Drake University and Smith's Oklahoma A&M. The assault—which resulted in a broken jaw for Bright—was captured in a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo sequence. The incident highlighted the racial tensions of the times and even provoked changes in college football rules. What happened to Smith? More...
Sayyed Hassan
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 2:03:36 AM

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Johnny D. Bright (June 11, 1930 – December 14, 1983) was a professional Canadian football player in the Canadian Football League. He played college football at Drake University. He is a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, the National Football Foundation's College Football Hall of Fame, the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame, the Edmonton Eskimos Wall of Honour, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, and the Des Moines Register's Iowa Sports Hall of Fame.

In 1951, Bright was named a First Team College Football All-American, and was awarded the Nils V. "Swede" Nelson Sportsmanship Award. In 1969, Bright was named Drake University's greatest football player of all time. Bright is the only Drake football player to have his jersey number (No. 43) retired by the school, and in June 2006, received honorable mention from ESPN.com senior writer Ivan Maisel as one of the best college football players to ever wear No. 43.[1] In February 2006, the football field at Drake Stadium, in Des Moines, Iowa, was named in his honor.[2] In November 2006, Bright was voted one of the CFL's Top 50 players (No. 19) of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN.[3]

In addition to his outstanding professional and college football careers, Bright is perhaps best known for his role as the victim of an intentional, most likely racially motivated, on-field assault by an opposing college football player from Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University) on October 20, 1951, that was captured in a widely disseminated and Pulitzer Prize winning photo sequence, and eventually came to be known as the "Johnny Bright Incident."Johnny D. Bright (June 11, 1930 – December 14, 1983) was a professional Canadian football player in the Canadian Football League. He played college football at Drake University. He is a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, the National Football Foundation's College Football Hall of Fame, the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame, the Edmonton Eskimos Wall of Honour, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, and the Des Moines Register's Iowa Sports Hall of Fame.

Chandrasekhar Krishnan
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 3:06:32 AM

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One wonders "when will the discrimination disappear"? Discrimination seem to be everywhere around the world.

We all understand in all fairness, fair skin will be superior for all time to come. Yet exhibiting that on a sports field can't be understood. That is against all sportsmanship.

Violence in contact sports can't be totally avoided. Thinking about that and for that matter, nothing bad and discrimination can not also totally avoided. But that can be brought under control.

I pray since white skin is superior, let them show their superiority in humanity too and the sports be kept away from politics and violence.

Regards

C K
KenO
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 7:23:48 AM

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Discrimination, whether based on race, sex, age, or whatever differentiating factor you choose will always be a problem. The best we can do is recognize it is wrong and do what we can to contain it, individually and societally. It seems we are moving in the right direction....slowly.
Gary98
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 9:22:11 AM

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Shame on Oklahoma State University
monamagda
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 5:43:10 PM

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Wilbanks Smith, a Oklahoma A&M defensive tackle, would spend the entire game with one goal; the objective was simple, “Get that nigger!” It was no secret, student of Oklahoma A&M openly talked about how the coaches and players commonly tossed around phrases like the one above in reference to Johnny Bright. As the game started, Smith quickly laid Bright out. In fact, before the first seven minutes, Smith would have tackled Bright continually, knocking him unconscious three times. The last of these would be forever known as the Johnny Bright Incident. With the final blow, Smith broke Bright’s jaw.

Whether the Johnny Bright Incident was due to racial hatred or not, this incident would change football for the better. Because of Bright’s injuries, the NCAA changed the rules regarding illegal blocks and mandated the use of protective helmets with face guards. -

See more at: http://hankeringforhistory.com/the-johnny-bright-incident/#sthash.WlO4Te0h.dpuf
sportsherald
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 9:52:11 PM

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Johnny Bright was the first round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles, but he elected to play in Canada instaead, first for Calgary and, most successfully, for the Edmonton Eskimos, winning three championships in a row with them. He moved his family to Edmonton, and taught school here during and after his football career. He was Principal at two schools, and now has a school and a park named for him in Edmonton. As a life-long Edmontonian myself, I was always well aware of the respect and honour he was treated with here. Today, this is the first I ever heard of this incident. It helps me understand another reason he stayed in Canada.
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