SHARE

Seventy years ago, the Los Angeles Rams were granted permission to play in the L.A. Coliseum on one condition: Sign Kenny Washington. Lincoln Heights native, UCLA grad, and standout for the Hollywood Bears of the Pacific Coast Professional Football League, Washington broke the NFL’s color barrier the year before college teammate Jackie Robinson broke MLB’s. But Washington’s name largely toils in obscurity. Joshua Neuman sits down with Kenny Washington’s grandson and the President of the Kenny Washington Stadium Foundation to discuss Washington’s overlooked legend and legacy. Plus, we take a look at the most notable of Kenny Washington’s film performances, 1949’s “Pinky,” and the ways in which its themes speak to his short-lived NFL career.