(CNN)Nearly 50 years in the past, in 1969, 14 black football gamers on the University of Wyoming wanted to protest a racist policy.
The team became set to play Brigham Young University, a university affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which at the time had a coverage prohibiting black humans from turning into monks. Students were planning a protest outdoor the football stadium, and the gamers desired to wear black armbands all through the game in the guide.
When the players approached their coach to ask for permission, they had been right away kicked off the crew.
The campus fell into disarray — there have been protests calling for the reinstatement of the gamers, and the state of affairs garnered national interest. The group, even though it beat BYU 40-7, lost its ultimate four games of the season and went 1-9 the subsequent season. Though 3 of the players came again to play for the group in 1970, 3 others transferred to all-black faculties. Two eventually went directly to play inside the NFL.
None of them ever received a public apology. Until Friday.
The University of Wyoming held a commemorative week in honor of the 14 gamers, dubbed the “Black 14,” this year, marking the 50th anniversary of the incident. The week, attended by means of 8 of the eleven residing players, culminated in a dinner Friday when the college’s athletic director Tom Burman read from a professional apology letter from the school.
The letter applauds the former students for their movements and says they had been “disadvantaged” of their university experiences because of events that weren’t their fault.
“To have your collegiate careers derailed as both students and athletes is a tragedy,” it says.
It concludes with the following: “Please receive this honest apology from the University of Wyoming for the unfair manner you were handled and for the hardships that treatment created for you. We need to welcome you home as valued contributors of this organization, and desire you take delivery of our old Wyoming saying, ‘Once a Cowboy, usually a Cowboy.'”
Former University of Wyoming football participant Ted Williams grips the hand of athletic director Tom Burman after Williams and the rest of the “Black 14” received a formal apology from the college.
“It became extremely emotional,” Kevin McKinney, a senior associate athletic director at Wyoming who helped arrange the weeklong event, instructed CNN. “I can most effective believe that was something they wanted to pay attention, and they hadn’t heard that for fifty years from the school.”
Lionel Grimes, a member of the Black 14, referred to as it “mind-boggling.”
“I by no means notion I’d see that happen on the University of Wyoming,” he informed local media.
“That’s all I ever desired turned into an apology,” Tony Gibson, another member, said. “That’s it.”
It ‘ought to’ve been finished two decades ago’
The Black 14 spent their weekly meeting with college students and athletes on the university. They spoke in classrooms and in a panel discussion approximately First Amendment rights and constitutional issues.
McKinney referred to as the assist from students “brilliant.”
“The college students failed to realize something approximately it,” he stated. “(They) were very interested in it. They wanted to pay attention to the story.”
McKinney continued, “Honestly, (the commemoration and apology) have to’ve been completed twenty years ago, or longer.”
Earlier Friday, the college unveiled a plaque at the soccer stadium honoring the players.
The subsequent day, the Black 14 have been honored at halftime at some point of the football game in opposition to the University of Idaho. They obtained a standing ovation from the crowd, McKinney stated.