Our Clients:

Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Jul 7, 2024 3:55 pm

Bobby Grier, Pitt legend, dies at 91

Pittsburgh football helmet

Bobby Grier, a Pitt Athletics Hall of Famer who was the first Black player to play in the Sugar Bowl, died on June 30. He was 91.

The university confirmed Grier’s death on Sunday.

In a 2023 interview, Grier said he wasn’t thinking about breaking a color barrier when he played in the 1956 Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2, his 23rd birthday.

“I didn’t think anything of it,” Grier said.

Pitt’s Sugar Bowl opponent was Georgia Tech, and then-Georgia governor Marvin Griffin tried to keep Grier from playing in the game at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans during a time of racial segregation. But Grier’s teammates refused to travel without him and Georgia Tech also supported him.

“They said we’re not going down without him. No Grier, no game,” Grier said.

Though he wasn’t allowed to stay in the team hotel, Grier would not be denied.

“I’m very proud of what I did,” he said.

Grier, a fullback, linebacker and defensive back, was inducted into the Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame in 2020. He was inducted into the Sugar Bowl Hall of Fame two years prior.

“Bobby Grier is the epitome of the Pitt student-athlete,” chancellor Joan Gabel said in a statement. “Striving to compete alongside his teammates at the highest level possible, he played with courage, grace and conviction, and he helped drive the national conversation toward justice at a pivotal time in American history.

“The University of Pittsburgh is enormously proud to call Bobby an alum. We express our deepest condolences to his family and friends at the loss of a great man.”

Pitt’s football team will wear a commemorative helmet sticker for the 2024 season to honor Grier.

“Bobby Grier lived a truly remarkable and impactful life that inspires in so many ways,” Pitt director of athletics Heather Lyke said in a statement. “The courage and dignity he showed in desegregating the Sugar Bowl stands as one of the most important moments not only in the history of the University of Pittsburgh but also the game of college football.”

–Field Level Media

You may also like

Cooper DeJean
Jul 23, 2024 10:29 pm

Report: Eagles CB Cooper DeJean (hamstring) out 3 weeks

Philadelphia Eagles rookie cornerback Cooper DeJean will be sidelined for approximately the first three weeks of training camp due to a hamstring injury, ESPN reported Tuesday. DeJean reportedly sustained the…

Michael Gallup
Jul 23, 2024 10:27 pm

WR Michael Gallup retires on eve of Raiders’ first practice

Wide receiver Michael Gallup has decided to retire rather than play this season for the Las Vegas Raiders, the club indicated Tuesday with the announcement he was placed on the…

Christian Darrisaw
Jul 23, 2024 8:07 pm

Vikings, OT Christian Darrisaw agree to 4-year contract extension through 2029

The Minnesota Vikings announced Tuesday they have agreed to terms with left tackle Christian Darrisaw on a four-year contract extension that ties him to the team through the 2029 season….

More Football News

Cooper DeJean
Jul 23, 2024 10:29 pm

Report: Eagles CB Cooper DeJean (hamstring) out 3 weeks

Philadelphia Eagles rookie cornerback Cooper DeJean will be sidelined for approximately the first three weeks of training camp due to a hamstring injury, ESPN reported Tuesday. DeJean reportedly sustained the…

Michael Gallup
Jul 23, 2024 10:27 pm

WR Michael Gallup retires on eve of Raiders’ first practice

Christian Darrisaw
Jul 23, 2024 8:07 pm

Vikings, OT Christian Darrisaw agree to 4-year contract extension through 2029

jeff monken
Jul 23, 2024 7:02 pm

Army coach cites scheduling, playoff as reasons for joining AAC

Randy Gregory
Jul 23, 2024 6:49 pm

Bucs LB Randy Gregory placed on reserve/did not report list

Read all
fb-post
advertisment
title-icon

Upcoming events

See all odds