University of Washington reinstates three of four suspended black football players on November 9, 1969.

  • By HistoryLink Staff
  • Posted 1/01/2000
  • Essay 1327

On November 9, 1969, the University of Washington and Huskies Coach Jim Owens (1927-2009) reinstates three black football players whom he had suspended from the team on October 30. The suspend players were Gregg Alex, Ralph Bayard, Harvey Blanks, and Lamar Mills. All but Harvey Blanks are reinstated.

UW Huskies Coach Jim Owens had suspended the four players for what he termed lack of commitment to the team. Following this, the other African American players on the team refused to travel to Los Angeles to play, and activists demand Owens's resignation. The University of Washington pressured Owens to reconsider. He reinstated three of the four players. During this series of events, African American assistant coach Carver Gayton resigned.


Walt Crowley, Rites of Passage: A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995), 277.
Note: This essay was expanded on October 16, 2005.

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