LSU Honors First Black Football Players

The storied athletic history of Black players who attended Louisiana State University (LSU) is still going strong today, but there had to be a group of firsts. On Saturday, Nov. 18, the school honored 10 former Black athletes who were among the first to be given football scholarships in the late 1960s to the mid-1970s.

According to The Advocate, during the first quarter of the latest football game, LSU acknowledged the first Black football players who donned a uniform for the university. The recognition took place at the contest between LSU and Georgia State. The very first Black football player accepted into the program was Lora Hinton. He was joined by nine other former LSU athletes at the game. Those people were Edmund Stewart, Mike Williams, Thielen Smith, Terry Robiskie, Robert Dow, Clinton Burrell, Charles Alexander, Dennis Kimble and Greg LaFleur.

Those 10 weren’t the only ones who were honored at the game. There were five players who were posthumously celebrated along with the ones who attended. They were Richard Romain, Carl Otis Trimble, Harrison Francis, Lew Sibley, and Wilbur Stansberry. The first trainer at LSU, Herman Lang, who worked at the university from 1932 til 1971 was also honored.

Hinton told WFAB that after a former LSU player died, he felt compelled to gather the men together again while they were still around and it was too late. The former player contacted the school and they decided to honor him and the first 10 Black scholarship football players.

Terry Robiskie, who played for the Oakland Raiders and the Miami Dolphins as an NFL player (1977-1981), and won a Super Bowl championship as a coach for the Raiders in 1984 was the number one prep recruit at the time he committed to LSU in 1973.

“Everybody was mad at me for coming to LSU. The white people didn’t want me here, and the Black people didn’t want me to come here. The Black people wanted to know, ‘why did you come to LSU? What the hell are you doing going to LSU? We don’t go to LSU.’ And the white people told me they didn’t want me,” said Robiskie.

He and Hinton both agreed that this event needed to happen.

The former players were given an exclusive tour around the school’s newest football facility and were greeted by Head Coach Brian Kelly.

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