I’m a football fan. Okay, not a diehard fan and yes I usually wait until the playoffs to really catch-up to the good stuff, but I do like the game and I’ll watch college or professional football when I have a chance. Recently with the passing of Ollie Matson, I was reminded of the number of great athletes who faced discrimination in their arena. Some, like Matson, endured tremendous difficulties and still managed to make their mark and pave the way for others.
Ollie Matson, passed away yesterday. He was a native of San Francisco and played with the USF Dons in 1951 when, although undefeated, were not invited to participate in a bowl game because two of their players, Mr. Matson and Burl Toler were black. The team never considered accepting a bid without their full team and were known as the team that was “Undefeated, Untied and Uninvited”. Eight members of that 1951 team went on to play in the NFL including Ollie Matson. Mr. Matson also earned two medals in track at the 1952 Olympics and was one of the best all-around players in NFL history, and is a member of the NFL Hall of Fame. You can learn more about the 1951 USF Dons and Ollie Matson in Undefeated, Untied and Uninvited by Kristine Setting Clark and from the cstv clip by the same name as well as other clips.