The One Position in College Football That Is Still Almost Exclusively White

A generation ago black quarterbacks were extremely rare in college football. Few coaches were prepared to entrust black players in this important leadership position on the field. Talented black athletes were steered to play as running backs or pass receivers. But now black quarterbacks are commonplace in both the college and professional ranks.

Blacks now make up about 55 percent of all athletes who win football scholarships at universities that make up America’s most prominent football programs. But there is one position where blacks are still almost nonexistent. This is the position of place kicker, the player who kicks field goals and extra points.

Even at the nation’s historically black colleges and universities, where more than 80 percent of all players are African Americans, there are very few black kickers. This past season there were only three black kickers in the nine-team Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

The situation in the National Football League is even worse. There are no black place kickers on the 32 NFL teams.