Category Archives: Art Powell

Art Powell: A Deserving Hall of Fame Candidate

The Pro Football Hall of Fame senior’s committee made their nomination last week for the HoF Class of 2018, and again the AFL was passed by.  Johnny Robinson, Winston Hill, John Hadl, Jim Tyrer, Walt Sweeney, Fred Arbanas, and many others likely didn’t even come up in discussion.

Still, there are grumblings out there, and our AFL legends are not being completely forgotten.   Ron Borges, a member of the hall of fame’s senior’s committee and The Talk of Fame Sports Network, recently penned (Keyed?  Typed?) a very compelling article for Art Powell, the legendary receiver who spent the bulk of his career with the New York Titans and Oakland Raiders.  As Borges illustrates, Powell should be remembered not only for his excellence on the gridiron, but also for his bravery in standing up against the bigotry and segregation that was so prevalent in the 1960s, and on full display when Powell’s teams played exhibition games in the South. read more

Jets @ Raiders Film – Preseason 1963

I found this neat bit of film on YouTube recently.  It shows the highlights of the New York Jets playing a preseason game in 1963, against the Oakland Raiders.  The game, played before a mere 8,317 fans, featured the former Titans in all-white uniforms, before they unveiled the new jet logo.

AFL Legend, Art Powell

Art Powell, AFL legend and receiver for the New York Titans, Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills, passed away this week.  Powell was a dominant receiver.  Big, strong, and fast, Powell had five years of 1,000+ receiving yards in his career, and became the Oakland Raiders’ first deep threat under the tutelage of new head coach, Al Davis, in 1963.

This article was first published in 2006, but is still valuable for the insight it gives into Powell, and all that he accomplished in a career that is sadly unknown by most football fans today. read more

50 Years Ago Today…

larry garron and houston antwine leave new orleans

JANUARY 11, 1965 – NEW ORLEANS – American Football League players Houston Antwine (L), and Larry Garron (R), of the Boston Patriots leave their hotel 1/11 after the AFL All-Star Game was cancelled because of charges of racial discrimination by 20 Negro players. The game scheduled for 1/16 has been moved to Houston.

…One of the greatest, yet most unknown protest in professional sports took place.  On January 11, 1965, 21 African-American football players from the American Football League walked out of the City of New Orleans, refusing to take place in the all-star game because of the discrimination that they had faced.  Led by Cookie Gilchrist and Art Powell, these men stood up for their beliefs, and in doing so made a statement that helped bring about integration in the South. read more

The Boycott

larry garron and houston antwine leave new orleans

January 11, 1965

Looking at today’s NFL, it is difficult to believe that African-American football players ever had to deal with discrimination of any sort.  As of 2011, African-Americans made up 67% of the players on NFL teams, and professional football players of all races are now treated as some sort of minor deity by fans around the world.  That, however, has not always been the case…

January 11 will mark the 48th anniversary of the African-American players boycotting the AFL All-Star Game that was to be played in New Orleans.  After arriving at the airport, the black members of the all-star squads had difficulty getting taxi services to take them to their hotels.  Things only got worse from there, and ultimately the players, led by Cookie Gilchrist and Art Powell, decided that they would not play in a city that treated them so poorly. read more