Duke Slater is not a name many football fans are familiar with … but every football fan should know him. Slater was the greatest offensive lineman of his time. In fact, of the 99 games he was eligible to start, he started 96 of them, and it would have been 97 except for the fact that the state of Missouri didn’t allow men of color to play during that period of our country’s history. Slater also played every down – that’s offense, defense and special teams – in 90 games – that’s every second of every game! Simply stated, there was no one better. In fact, the great Red Grange said Slater was the best lineman ever and named him as one of the greatest players to ever suit up in an NFL game. Slater was voted into the inaugural class of the College Football Hall of Fame … and is a member of the Professional Football Researcher’s Association Hall of Very Good, which has actually been the springboard for several eventual members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. On this episode of Sports’ Forgotten Heroes, Neal Rozendaal who authored the book – Duke Slater: Pioneering Black NFL Player and Judge – joins us for a terrific look back at a legendary career that also had a lot of meaning to a lot of people off the grid iron as well.
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