A tribute unveiling of a plaque telling the story of the University of Wyoming Black 14 football players will be part of several events honoring the players during the 50th anniversary of their dismissal from the Cowboy football team.

The tribute unveiling of the plaque is Friday, September 13, at 4 PM on the southeast side of War Memorial Stadium near Gate 4. The event is free and open to the public.

“More student events are planned for October as we approach the 50th anniversary on Oct. 17, 1969,” says UW Vice President for Student Affairs Sean Blackburn.

The former Cowboys also will be recognized at halftime of the University of Wyoming VS University of Idaho football game Saturday, September 14. Most of the original Black 14 players have confirmed they will attend the event.

During the 1969 football season, 14 UW players were dismissed from the team by head football Coach Lloyd Eaton for wanting to ask for permission to protest the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints policy of prohibiting black persons from attaining the priesthood. The UW players planned to wear black armbands during the game against Brigham Young University (BYU).

“We are thrilled to welcome the members back to campus to honor them during this 50th commemoration,” UW Director of Athletics Tom Burman said in a statement. “We believe this event serves multiple purposes: education, healing and learning how to move forward effectively as we support our current students and celebrate our alumni community.”

A free public panel discussion with the Black 14 will be Thursday, September 12, from 6:30-9 PM in the UW College of Arts and Sciences auditorium. The panel discussion will provide a picture of the events surrounding the dismissal of the UW players. In addition, the historical importance, the related constitutional issues, and the First Amendment will be part of the discussion.

While on campus, the Black 14 will meet with Associated Students of Wyoming leaders, current UW athletes and Black Student Alliance members, and participate in classroom conversations and other university organized events.

A free public open house hosted at the Multicultural Resource Centers in the Wyoming Union is scheduled for Thursday at 4:30 PM

Acting UW President Neil Theobald and Burman will honor the Black 14 players and their guests at a special dinner Friday night.

Source: University of Wyoming