PROVO, Utah – BYU football honors the Wyoming Black 14 in tonight’s game against the Cowboys.
For the first time in over 50 years, members of that 1969 Wyoming team will be on the field in Provo. The two Black 14 members who will be in Provo for the BYU/Wyoming game are Mel Hamilton and John Griffin.
Black 14 sticker on BYU football helmet during Wyoming game
In honor of their presence in Provo this week, BYU football will wear a special helmet decal to honor the Black 14.
On the back of BYU’s white helmet with navy blue decals, they will also have a decal on the back that reads “Black 14”.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) September 25, 2022
Wyoming’s Black 14 honor comes a month after a BYU fan allegedly said a racial slur toward Black Duke Volleyball player Rachel Richardson.
BYU has since said it found no evidence of the alleged insult to Richardson.
About Black 14
In 1969, BYU and Wyoming faced off for a football game in Laramie. Wyoming was an undefeated team and among the best teams in the country. Students in Wyoming used the game as an opportunity to protest a policy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that did not allow black men to hold the priesthood.
Fourteen black football players from Wyoming wanted to show their support for their comrades by wearing black armbands on their uniforms. But, instead of being allowed to wear those armbands, Wyoming coach Lloyd Eaton kicked all 14 players off the team.
Wyoming still beat BYU, 40-7 in that game. But the impact of Wyoming’s Black 14 went beyond the playing fields.
The following season, BYU football focused on recruiting minority athletes. As a result, BYU coach Tommy Hudspeth signed BYU’s first black football player, Ron Knight, the following year.
In 1978, the revelation of the priesthood ended the ban on black men holding the priesthood in the Church.
Three years ago, on the 50th anniversary of the game, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and members of the Black 14 came together to provide food to communities in insecurity. . Both groups provided food trucks to those less fortunate.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.