Pioneers…Drum majors for equal opportunity …these men were passionate about their crusade to promote Black college achievements through the use of the tools of the media. Long before integrated competition became a theme in America, they challenged the status quo and promoted Jackie Robinson, Paul “Tank” Younger, Jesse Owens, Satchel Paige, Althea Gibson and numerous others who passed through the doorsteps of Black colleges and white institutions.
Sam Lacy (Oct. 23, 1903 – May 8, 2003) Baseball Hall of Fame Sportswriter, Reporter, Columnist, Editor, and TV/Radio Commentator …A Howard graduate who became a columnist for the Baltimore-Afro-American newspapers in 1943. Lacy was a crusader for the inclusion of black athletes in major league baseball. Some of the nation’s best ballplayers played in the Negro National League and had no chance of joining the Major League Baseball. Lacy campaigned in newspaper sports columns against the racial policies and climate that kept black players from competing on major leagueteams. His vigorous campaigning to Branch Rickey, owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers resulted in Jackie Robinson’s heralded breakthrough into the Major League Baseball in 1945. Mr. Lacy covered Robinson during his year with Montreal and his break-in year with the Dodgers. Robinson was soon followed by Larry Doby, a Virginia Union grad who signed with the American League Cleveland Indians. Honors: Baseball Hall of Fame, 1998…Red Smith Award (Sportswriters top award)
Robert Theron “Ron” Pinkney The Voice of Black College Sports May 26, 1935- (Pinkney with NBA great Sam Jones at CIAA Tournament 1979)
A native of Annapolis, Maryland, Ron has spent over 40 years as a trailblazer in radio and television broadcasting. He attended Morgan State before embarking as a corre-spondent with the Baltimore Afro-American before embarking as a correspondent with newspaper and has held jobs as a morning newscaster at WOL Radio in 1965, and took his first broadcasting job at WANN in Annapolis, MD. He worked at several black colleges as a announcer, play by play and color commentator. Ron was the first black sportscaster to work a televised broadcast when he covered the famed Orange Blossom Classic, the Black college football showcase in Miami, Florida (FAMU Rattlers Hall of Fame head coach Alonza “Jake” Gaither handpicked him). His second TV broadcast was for WTTG, Channel 5 when he hosted a weekly half hour black news program. He became the weekend sportscaster and teamed with news anchors Connie Chung and Maury Povich. Grambling State hired him to do play by play from 1971-74 for their syndicated televised football games. He worked with the iconic sports information director Collie Nicholson (who was the mastermind behind the Tigers rise to national prominence), athlete and actor Fred “The Hammer” Williamson, former Dallas Cowboys running back Don Perkins, former NFL stars Roger Brown and Tom Gatewood; Hall of Famer Sam Jones, and Betty Smith, considered the first woman sideline reporter in Los Angeles.
Wendell Smith West VA State
Brad Pye, Jr
Mel Swann NC A&T
Spencer Gwynn NC A&T
Sam Crenshaw Sportscaster
Frank Bolden Pitt Courier
Pam Oliver Florida A&M
Bill Rhoden Morgan State
Charlie Neal Sportscaster
Cal Jacox Norfolk Journal & Guide
Donald Hunt Philadelphia Tribune
Jackie Bowe Doc Suttles, Albany State Joe Walker, Florida A&M Abe Goldblatt Howie Evans A.S. “Doc” Young Sam Carey Jerry Izenberg Chuck Stone George McClellan, VA Pilot