While he may not have played for the Florida A&M University football program, Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff gave the Rattlers a big boost this week when he wore a FAMU football t-shirt to his regularly scheduled press conference. From the Tallahassee Democrat:
Twitter was buzzing Wednesday evening when Associated Press writer Greg Beacham tweeted out a photo of Jared Goff, starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL, wearing a Florida A&M T-shirt at a press conference.
Goff, who played college football at Cal, doesn’t appear to have any immediate ties to Florida A&M, but a search through the Rams’ media guide shows the team’s physical therapist, Byron Cunningham, is a Rattler.
Cunningham, also the Rams’ assistant athletic trainer, graduated from Florida A&M with a bachelor’s in physical therapy in 1998, according to the team’s media guide. In 2010, he received the School of Allied Health Sciences Distinguished Alumni award.
He’s been with the Rams for eight years.
The viral photo is the latest of NFL nods to black college football, including its tribute to Pro Football Hall of Fame members who played at HBCUs during the 2017 Super Bowl, and its partnership with HBCU Division I conferences to establish professional pipelines in sports administration and management.
The NFL is partnering with two preeminent Historically Black College & Universities (HBCU) athletic conferences — the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) — to increase opportunities for ethnic minorities — both professionals and students — interested in pursuing careers in football administration.
Last month, several HBCU graduates were also named to the league’s inaugural list of full-time referees.
A month after announcing its plans to hire full-time referees for the first time, the National Football League has released the names of 21 professional game officials, several of whom are alumni of historically black colleges and universities.
Now if the league would only allow black players to live in the HBCU tradition of protest for social good, and we just might be onto something?