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Archives on the Air 275: Protesting Racial Injustice – Black 14 films

While the assassination of Martin Luther King and rallies in support of civil rights rocked the U.S., one protest at the University of Wyoming drew national attention.

The Cowboys football team was scheduled to play Brigham Young University which is operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At the time, the church had a policy that excluded Black people from the priesthood.

Fourteen African American football players donned black armbands and went to talk to Lloyd Eaton, the coach of the Cowboys football team. They wanted to wear the armbands over their uniforms the next day to protest the church policy.

Coach Eaton was infuriated and removed the players from the team. He maintained that the players were breaking team rules. In the end, most of the fourteen players lost their scholarships and left UW.

Watch the Black 14 films in the digital collection at UW’s American Heritage Center to learn more about the protest and the impact on UW’s football program.