WyomingPBS to stream panel discussion with 9 members of the Black 14

UW's Black 14 Anniversary

Laramie, Wyo. – WyomingPBS, in cooperation with the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming, will live stream a panel discussion with nine members of the Black 14 on Thursday, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m. at the Arts & Sciences Auditorium on the UW campus. The event is free and open to the public and can be viewed at WyomingPBS.org.

The panel discussion is part of a series of events at UW that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Black 14, when 14 African American football players were summarily dismissed from the Wyoming Cowboy football team by then head coach Lloyd Eaton. The players had wanted to ask for permission to protest the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints policy of prohibiting black people from attaining the priesthood. 

Viewers who want to submit questions to be considered for discussion by the panel can do so by emailing to black14@wyomingpbs.org.

“We are honored to bring the voices of the Black 14 to Wyoming,” senior public affairs producer and panel moderator Craig Blumenshine said. “I look forward to having these former Wyoming Cowboys tell their stories in their own words.”

At the beginning of the 1969 season, Wyoming was a national power in college football and had won the past three Western Athletic Conference titles while being ranked in the top 10 in national football polls. After the Black 14 were dismissed, the Cowboys won but two more games in 1969 and fell to 1-9 the following season.

Other events planned for Sept. 12-14 include several on-campus discussions with students, a tribute unveiling of a plaque telling the story of the Black 14 football players, and a special Friday night dinner for the Black 14 hosted by acting UW President Neil Theobald and Director of Athletics Tom Burman. On Saturday, Sept. 14, the former Cowboys will be honored at halftime of the UW-University of Idaho football game, which kicks off at 3 p.m. 

In a release from the University, Burman said, “We are thrilled to welcome the members back to campus to honor them during this 50th commemoration. 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.”

The week of events are sponsored by the UW Office of the President; the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics; Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Division of Student Affairs; WyomingPBS; We the People; and Wyoming History Day.