Bobby Mitchell, the first Black player to become a member of the Washington Redskins and noteworthy hall of famer, died Sunday afternoon. He was 84 years old.
What We Know:
- Between the years of 1962 and 1968, Mitchell played for the Redskins as a halfback. The Redskins were the last National Football League (NFL) team to integrate and permit Black players to play for the organization.
- Historically, it was the then NFL commissioner, Pete Rozelle, and a member of President John F. Kennedy’s cabinet who got former Redskins’ owner, George Preston Marshall, to finally let Black players play.
- Mitchell shared his career with both the Cleveland Browns and Redskins and was later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983. The Hall of Fame advised Sunday night that Mitchell’s family confirmed he died in the afternoon but didn’t provide any other specific details.
- According to WUSA 9, soon after his retirement from professional football, Mitchell went onto become an executive with the team until 2002.
- The current owner of the Washington Redskins, Dan Snyder, was saddened to hear the news and called Mitchell an important trailblazer who influenced the franchise. “His passion for the game of football was unmatched by anyone I have ever met,” he said in a statement.
Mitchell achieved several other accomplishments while playing for both teams. Some of which included earning the First-Team All-Pro during his first three seasons with Washington, two time NFL receiving yards winner, and the NFL’s leader in receptions at one point. He was also inducted into the Redskins Ring of Honor.