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Nate Northington: much more than a trivia answer


Courtesy: University of Kentucky Archives

Though you won’t hear his name mentioned nearly as frequently as Bear Bryant or Adolph Rupp, Nate Northington remains one of the most important figures from the University of Kentucky’s athletic history. True; he didn’t go on to have a decade-spanning, hall-of-fame career like Rupp or Bryant. In fact, he only played four games at UK. But the precedent that Northington set paved the way for generations of people who had previously been excluded from the Southeastern Conference. In 1967, Northington became the first black player to participate in an SEC football game.

In a column today for Jeffersonville, IN’s News and Tribune, Dale Moss sat down with Northington to get his take on his past, present, and future life. Though Northington’s been stacking up the accolades as of late (including a documentary from CBS last year, and a forthcoming statue at UK), he currently lives a quiet life out of the spotlight in one of Jeffersonville’s nicer neighborhoods. This humble style of living matches Northington’s view of his legacy:

“I never thought of myself as a pioneer, a hero,” he said. “I just wanted to play football.”

Though he discounts his role in history, the article provides a quality look at Northington’s life and the path that led to his status as a racial ground-breaker. You could read worse things this evening.

Article written by Caleb Epley

Vanderbilt student, Kentucky fan. Skilled at using big words and telling bad jokes. Twitter: @CalebEpleyKSR

13 Comments for Nate Northington: much more than a trivia answer

  1. whack0001
    5:12 pm February 14, 2016 Permalink

    Who cares

    • 25OR624
      5:24 pm February 14, 2016 Permalink

      There is a rule: Any asshole can comment, but if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

    • whack0001
      6:07 pm February 14, 2016 Permalink

      The problem I see is race thrown in our faces and it being brought up every single possible chance they can. I’m sick of hearing about and sick of seeing it.

    • CATandMONKEY
      6:16 pm February 14, 2016 Permalink

      Uhhh…skip articles that you don’t wish to read? …Regardless of subject. Just a thought.

    • 25OR624
      6:41 pm February 14, 2016 Permalink

      Your comments are welcome. It is history that flew – by you. If it missed your face, it missed your eyes. But it did not miss your mouth. Or the crap you dropped.

    • whack0001
      6:58 pm February 14, 2016 Permalink

      It didn’t miss my eyes. I can see very VERY clearly. And yes, I’m not afraid to speak up, speak out, and express what I believe in. Telling me I dropped crap (whatever that’s supposed to mean) and calling me an asshole doesn’t scare me and isn’t going to silence me

    • catdaddyd
      9:26 pm February 15, 2016 Permalink

      He played 4 games and got into trouble and had to leave UK. He and Tom Payne are heroes.

  2. 25OR624
    5:18 pm February 14, 2016 Permalink

    The sunny side of Lou a vuhl – where the southern view is nice. What folks must understand and I think as UK fans we likely do – it is this: During the era, in the south, and arguably, KY is NOT truly a southern state, but the south is and was an unkind friend to people of color. I would submit, folks from the south hated those who were not of their kind. Can you imagine the sale to parents? I, as coach, CAN NOT guarantee the safety of your kid, not only in Lexington, but when we travel. That’s enormous burden to bear. It is a fact.

    Not to change the subject, but just pondering: What if UK lost to Duke, when Conley & Riley, et al. played and it was Duke in the Texas Western game?

    • WildcatCam
      6:43 pm February 14, 2016 Permalink

      As it pertains to your comment, Kentucky is a southern state (even though technically, it was a border state during the civil war)…the majority of the state was and is still unkind to people of color.

  3. jrdh13
    8:27 pm February 14, 2016 Permalink

    Looks like the first coming of boobie miles

  4. WildcatScratchFever
    8:30 pm February 14, 2016 Permalink

    Salute. Eff all you racists.

  5. TorpedoVegas
    11:56 pm February 14, 2016 Permalink

    Looks like we have some relics in here. It’ll be nice when you are nothing more than an embarrassing memory.

    • CATandMONKEY
      8:17 am February 15, 2016 Permalink