Where Are The Black Kickers In The NFL

Updated: January 21, 2008


The Power of the Kicker The Drama of the Kicker Importance of the Kicker It was all dramatized in the most intense way once again at Sunday night‘s Championship Game between Green Bay and New Jersey. Both the agony and the glory within moments as is only to be seen in the Field Goal Kicker. The Giants Lawrence Tynes went from goat to hero in the space of two Kicks minutes apart. Tynes is on top of the World. Had he missed a third time and the Giants lost he probably would have been fired certainly vilified “sacrificed” to the Gods to appease the team and the fans.

The point is What we all know but too often forget – not only fans but media and coaches as well – how important and unique the role of Kicker is in the NFL. In its own limited way equal to the Quarterback as the most important and unique role in Football.

The fact is a team might be an impossibly long distance from a Touchdown and up against a powerful defense that will prevent them from getting anywhere near the Goal Line but still win the game – in this case the most powerful event in American Sport the SuperBowl – with a kick almost half the length of the field.

As an aside Field Goals would even be more riveting – imagine Sunday night – if the brain dead broadcasters utilized the power of all those cameras they have covering the game but that rarely show up on our tv screens. Imagine if FOX had a brain storm and decided to place an automated camera BEHIND the goal posts so that as Tynes prepared to kick the ball we were looking straight at him and once he kicked the ball as the camera pulled back we saw it coming at us and toward the Goal Posts. WOW.

ALL HAIL THE FIELD GOAL KICKER except for one FATAL flaw in the NFL and in college football almost as much It is the most perplexing call it pernicious ( look it up ) aspect of Football. We have written about it again and again. The complete absence of Black Kickers from the NFL and the virtual lack of Black Kickers from college football.

Don’t try to defend it. it is indefensible. A vestige of Racism and exclusion and stereotyping in Sports that refuses to be undone. Even as some real progress has taken place at that other position long made inhospitable for African Americans the Quarterback NO progress has been made in Kicking or punting for that matter. NO NFL team has a Black Kicker and with a few rare exceptions most NFL teams have never had a Black Kicker in their entire history. And without some concerted effort it may never change.

Don’t even give us the garbage that African Americans are too talented to bother to become kickers. 99.999999999999999 % of African Americans will NEVER play NFL football. Think maybe a few of them might be able to kick a football as well as White Kickers and make high salaries for themselves, have a glamorous job and almost never experience the wear and tear in football players at every other position do.

There have been three notable Black place kickers in NFL history. Gene Mingo, Cookie Gilchrist and Herb Travenio. And precious few others. More about them in future Boxes. For now our focus is the present with NO Black NFL kickers and the future which should be better IF we make it so.

Which brings us to the Star of this Box Harvard graduate and successful business man former place kicker at Harvard Win Perkins Mr. Perkins has an idea and a passion that the only barrier to African American Kickers in the NFL and college is the necessary effort. Win Perkins is in the early stages of developing what he calls The African American Kickers Academy.

First regionally then nationally a sophisticated initiative to identify and work with young talented African American athletes who have the very same potential to become outstanding Kickers as do so many young white boys who they and their parents understand that Kicking can be a great ticket to outstanding colleges and just maybe the NFL as hundreds of White Kickers in the history of the NFL have proven and will continue to prove far into the future.

You can wait here to read of Win Perkins’ progress in the coming years or you can contact him wperkins@aapw.com and find out more or get involved or to recommend some young African American athlete for Mr. Perkins’ program and just maybe some years from now the Kicker sending his team to the SuperBowl will be African American stay tuned …..