| FTBL Dock Rone - First black athlete to play football at University of Alabama.


Bama Fan since 1965 and counting....
This I didn't know. Click the link and the top has an interview with Dock Rone.

Dock Rone - First black athlete to play football at University of Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - He made history in sports without ever recording a statistic in a game. Then, with one brave move, he changed the way a university looked at its football players. His name is Dock Rone. He was just a young man from Carver High School in Montgomery, Al, who wanted to attend the University of Alabama.

“I had no intentions of playing football at Alabama,” said Dock Rone.

But after watching the 1966 team go undefeated, he was hooked. So he made a call to coach Bear Bryant’s office to see if he could join the team in the spring of 1967.

“Coach Bryant had agreed to meet with me. When he told me that, my heart fell in my chest. I said, ‘oh no, what have I done.’”

A few days later, he was in coach Bryant’s office. At this time, a black player had never played or even practiced with the University of Alabama. However, coach did have an issue with his appearance.

We talked, and he said, “you know, if you want to play football at Alabama, you’re gonna have to cut that mustache off.” I said, “yes, sir.”

He said, “if I made Joe Namath cut his hair, you’re gonna have to cut your mustache.”

Rone joined the team, and four other black players followed. However, not everyone loved the idea.

“Some people didn’t want to see it happen. I used to get nasty mail and stuff.”

It was a different story with his teammates.

“To my surprise, the players were very competitive with each other. They treated me like one of the gang.”

Rone just wanted to play ball.

“I guess me paving the way for other people was something the general population picked up on more than I did.”

There’s a video that shows him and his teammates in the spring of 1967 from the Paul W. Bryant Museum. There are stories he’ll never forget.

“One day, I was walking to practice, and this burgundy LTD pulled up, the window rolled down, and he said, “get in.” It was coach Bryant. I got in, and he took me to practice. He complimented me on how I was doing in practice.”

Rone never played in a game, but his impact on Alabama football may be more significant than any athlete who’s ever set foot in Tuscaloosa.

“I feel like I’m just as much a part of it as anyone who’s been here. It’s a great feeling.”

Just a young man from Montgomery who wanted to play some ball. In 2014 Dock Rone was inducted into the prestigious Alabama “A Club” as an honorary member. It’s usually reserved for athletes who earn a letter in their sport. He was nominated by one of his former white teammates.
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