Black History Month: Best Black Running Backs Of All Time?
You've seen them on the football field every Sunday. They receive handoffs from the quarterback, block, and catch the passes in the backfield. With the Super Bowl around the corner and Black History Month beginning today, we are paying tribute to the best African American running backs of all time.
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Jim Brown played for the Cleveland Browns and spent seven seasons in the NFL. He won Rookie of the Year award in 1957 and won the NFL championship with Cleveland in 1966.
Barry Sanders was the first player to rush for 1,000 yards in his first 10 season in the NFL. Regarded as one of the best running backs in NFL history, Barry spent his entire career with the Detroit Lions where he also became the first runner to record four straight 1,500 yards seasons. In 2004, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Walter Payton played 13 seasons with the Chicago Bears, where he made 9 Pro Bowl appearances and won the MVP award twice. He is now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and in the College Football Hall of Fame.
Kenny Washington broke NFL’s color barrier by becoming the first African American in the NFL in 1946. Kenny played football for UCLA before signing with the Los Angeles Rams in 1946 where he played for three seasons. The signing of Kenny to an NFL team ended the 12 year-ban on African American players in the NFL. He is often referred to as “football’s Jackie Robinson.”
Emmit Smith played 12 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and won three Super Bowl Championships with the team as well as a MVP award. He played his last two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.