In honor of Black History Month, NFL Network commemorates the iconic and game-changing people and events that impacted the NFL in an unforgettable way.
On Sunday, February 23, NFL Network provides a marathon of programming dedicated to those players and events, highlighted by the premiere of NFL 360: Fritz Pollard – A Forgotten Man at 8:00 PM ET.
In A Forgotten Man, NFL Network analyst Nate Burleson is joined by Pro Football Hall of Famers Tony Dungy and Art Shell, Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II, Fritz Pollard III and New Orleans Saints defensive end Cam Jordan as he showcases the life of Fritz Pollard. Burleson speaks with African American luminaries, gaining perspective on their experiences in comparison to what Pollard faced nearly a century ago. The 90-minute broadcast consists of a 50-minute documentary, a discussion with HBCU students of Florida Memorial University, and an interview with Senior Producer and Director Anthony Smith and Executive Producer Kyle Bowser. Additional interviews include Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown and Warren Moon, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NBC Sports’ Peter King, former NFL front office executive Rod Graves and more.
Pollard’s lasting efforts are displayed in this documentary as he pushed the NFL toward reintegration and a greater appreciation of the contributions of all its players. As a College and Pro Football Hall of Famer, prolific businessman and civil rights advocate, Pollard’s legacy lives on through the Fritz Pollard Alliance, and the continuation of his profound impact has brought together NFL front office personnel committed to equal opportunity.
Sunday’s marathon of programming begins at 8:00 AM ET with the broadcast of Super Bowl XXII, the game in which Doug Williams became the first-ever African American quarterback to win a Super Bowl. Following the game broadcast, Doug Williams: A Football Life airs at 12:00 PM ET telling the full story of how he went from growing up in rural Louisiana to becoming a first-round draft pick and Super Bowl MVP.
Honoring another player who changed the game of football, Jerry Rice: A Football Life airs next at 1:00 PM ET capturing Rice’s journey to the NFL and the impact he made along the way. At 2:00 PM ET, the episode honoring Michael Strahan: A Football Life airs showing his success on and off the field, overcoming every obstacle.
At 3:00 PM ET, Top 10 HBCU Players reveals the top ten most legendary NFL players hailing from historically black colleges and universities, and how their contributions have become a rich part of NFL history, impacting countless communities through efforts on and off the field. At 4:00 PM ET, The Timeline: 91 Falcons airs featuring interviews with Deion Sanders, Brett Favre, Jerry Glanville, MC Hammer and more as they discuss the culture-changing season that took place in Atlanta that year.
At 5:00 PM ET, The Super Bowl That Wasn’t makes known the story behind the 1993 Super Bowl being moved from Arizona to Los Angeles because of the political climate in Arizona, due to the state’s refusal to honor Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday as a holiday, a decision that cost them nearly $350 million in revenue, but more importantly a reevaluation of their positioning on the civil rights issue.
The marathon continues with back-to-back episodes of A Football Life, looking back at the unmatched talent and humble nature of Walter Payton at 6:00 PT ET, and commemorating the NFL legend and prominent Civil Rights advocate Jim Brown at 7:00 PM ET.
Following the premiere of A Forgotten Man, the documentary of the 1968 massacre in South Carolina, Orangeburg: A Town, A Team, An American Tragedy, airs at 9:30 PM ET. This documentary, produced by Jim Fabio, recounts the devastating story of how three young men lost their lives during a civil rights protest, and the valiant efforts of political activism by black student athletes.
Sharing the stories of the HBCU experience and the foundation it laid for the NFL, Breaking Ground: A Story of HBCU Football and the NFL, narrated by actor Chadwick Boseman, airs at 11:00 PM ET, featuring interviews with Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Mel Blount, 1987 NFL Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams and former NFL punter Marquette King.
The complete Black History Month Marathon programming is as follows:
Sunday, February 23
8:00 AM – Super Bowl XXII – Washington Redskins vs. Denver Broncos
12:00 PM – Doug Williams: A Football Life
1:00 PM – Jerry Rice: A Football Life
2:00 PM – Michael Strahan: A Football Life
3:00 PM – Top 10 – HBCU Players
4:00 PM – The Timeline: ’91 Falcons
5:00 PM – The Super Bowl That Wasn’t
6:00 PM – Walter Payton: A Football Life
7:00 PM – Jim Brown: A Football Life
8:00 PM – NFL 360: Fritz Pollard – A Forgotten Man
9:30 PM – Orangeburg: A Town, A Team, An American Tragedy
10:00 PM – The Super Bowl That Wasn’t
11:00 PM – Breaking Ground: A Story of HBCU Football & the NFL