February 18, 2021

Viola Davis Proudly Shares Story about Kenny Washington during the Super Bowl Pre-game Show

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The latest update on Hollywood icon Viola Davis has her telling the inspiring story of NFL champion Kenny Washington who goes down as a pivotal person in Black history. 

Viola Davis tells the "Jackie Robinson" story of late NFL champion Kenny Washington, who had an amazing career as a professional American football and how he broke the subtle NFL barrier. 

The star actress took to her Instagram page sharing a lovely photo of herself standing in a huge studio space with several ladders in the background. Davis informed fans in her caption that she would be honoring Washington's life and times. 

Viola Davis at the red carpet during the 14th Rome Film Festival on October 26, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images


The "How To Get Away With Murder" actress was wearing a wine trouser suit with something like a scarf stylishly attached across. She had a big grin on her face with both her hands showing the peace sign.

Davis joined CBS for the Superbowl pregame show in looking at the NFL's reintegration. During the great depression in 1933, colorism in the NFL became more pronounced when team owners decided not to accept Blacks into their leagues.


When the NFL started in 1920, there were no color barriers, but the subtle actions carried out within the league pointed largely to skin barriers. There were only two black keynote players playing in teams at the time.

Washington, 28 at the time, joined the Rams, making him the first Black player to be drafted in the NFL.


There was a turning point in 1946 when the Cleveland Rams moved to Los Angeles. The team played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum which was built mainly with revenue from Black players.

At the time, some African-American journalists were quite dissatisfied that there were a minimal number of Black players in the NFL. This led to the lift of the subtle ban on Black football players.


To this effect, Washington, 28 at the time, joined the Rams, making him the first Black player to be drafted in the NFL after 12 years of unofficial racial segregation. Soon enough, the Rams signed another African-American, Woody Strode.

Washington started out with a sterling career at UCLA before making a pivotal change within the NFL. However, while the late star made several efforts to get into the NFL before the ban was lifted, he worked as a coach for UCLA.

Kenny Washington leaped high into the air with a football on January 01, 1930 | Photo: Getty Images

However, his career within the league was short. The football star retired in 1948, and his jersey was retired by UCLA in 1956. Washington passed on in 1957 of heart and lung complications.