Kellen Winslow's Hero -- Aug. 7, 2005

A weekly feature on This Week.


Our voice this week is NFL Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow. The all-pro tight end long has been urging the league to honor the NFL's first black head coach, Fritz Pollard. That will happen this afternoon when Pollard is inducted into the Hall of Fame. But making good on Winslow's push for more black coaches now may take a little longer.

Kellen Winslow: You know, sometimes we have a tendency to overuse that word -- hero. It means a lot of things to a lot of people. But to those people of color who worked in professional football, he is the hero. He was the first. He broke down a lot of barriers. Fritz Pollard -- I would put him in the same category as a Martin Luther King, as a Malcolm X. He was an advocate. He was a leader. He was a barrier breaker. … Here was a man [who] in 1921 was the head football coach and star player of a professional football team. Boom! Unheard of. The question becomes, "What can we do to have an environment that could better create opportunities?" And that's what we've been working towards.

What has happened with the relationship with the National Football League is communication. The subject was put on the table. It became a priority for the league. They realized that there was a pool of talent out there they're not tapping into. That's all people of color in the National Football League have been looking for -- those opportunities to be mentored, to learn, to grow. They're not asking for anybody to give them anything or to set aside something for them. They want to compete on a fair field of play. And with that … you can do great things. You're going to get the best talent for the best job. You'll have a better league. Now, you could ask the question, what took so long? We'd rather look forward and say, "What's next?" -- based on what Fritz Pollard has accomplished.


Late Show with David Letterman:

Letterman: President Bush is getting ready to go to Texas for his annual vacation. … The White House says he goes to the Texas ranch to unwind. Unwind? I'm thinking -- when does he wind?

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno:

Leno: And President Bush also got his energy bill passed last week. It included his new logging program -- no tree left behind.