WATCH: HBCU Alumni and NFL Hall of Famers Recognized at Super Bowl LI (2949 hits)
The celebration of the legacy and impact of Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) and their players continued at Super Bowl LI in Houston.
The NFL carried on the tradition of honoring Legends and historic players at the Super Bowl by recognizing Pro Football Hall of Fame players who attended HBCUs, including JERRY RICE, MICHAEL STRAHAN and AENEAS WILLIAMS (see full list below). The celebration culminated with an on-field, pregame ceremony with these players at NRG Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 5.
"The NFL acknowledgement of the role of the historic black universities for their contributions to the game is important on three fronts, reminding us of the legacy that led Michael Strahan, myself and 27 others to the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” said Hall of Fame defensive back Aeneas Williams during a pre-Super Bowl event. “The strong values these institutions have for the game and how these colleges today remain a pathway for playing the game as their game for life.”
The NFL has a longstanding relationship with HBCUs, which have developed some of the greats of the game.
Twenty-nine of the 303 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame attended HBCUs. The Pro Football Hall of Fame (PFHOF) and the Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF), recently announced a partnership that will result in a permanent home for the BCFHOF as part of the new Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village on the Hall’s campus in Canton, Ohio, adding to the history and association of HBCUs and their players’ influence on the game.
"It has almost been a year since the Black College Football Hall of Fame has partnered with to the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” said Pro Football Hall of Fame President & CEO Dave Baker. “We were honored when the National Football League reached out with the great concept of shining a light on the Historically Black Colleges & Universities by introducing those HBCUs Gold Jackets at Super Bowl LI. We look forward to furthering their legacy through exhibits at the Hall and our national traveling exhibit "Gridiron Glory" that is currently at Texas Southern during this Super Bowl.”