The “Black 14” Remembered on the Campus of the University of Wyoming

Forty years ago in 1969, 14 African-American football players for the University of Wyoming asked their coach if they could wear black armbands during a game against Brigham Young University. The protest was aimed at the racially exclusionary membership policies of the Mormon Church.

The coach refused to allow the protest and proceeded to kick the 14 black players off the team. The “Black 14” incident did serious harm to the Wyoming football program, which was then ranked 10th in the nation. In the years afterward, recruiting black athletes to play football at the university became difficult. The University of Wyoming did not play in a bowl game for the next 18 seasons, until 1987.

This fall the university brought back members of the “Black 14” for a panel discussion on the Laramie campus.