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The 11th Annual Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Salute to Excellence Awards

Fritz Pollard Alliance

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of the 11th Annual Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Salute To Excellence Awards held during Super Bowl 50 week. Featured on today’s program are: Jim Brown, NFL Hall of Famer; Katie Blackburn, Executive Vice President with the Cincinnati Bengals; and Kevin Warren, Chief Operating Officer with the Minnesota Vikings.  

Eight top executives of NFL teams, three African American head coaches, one African American College head coach were honored at a unique event during Super Bowl 50 Week in San Francisco, CA. The Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation honored these trailblazers at their 11th Annual Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Salute to Excellence Awards. The Fritz Pollard Allianceis an organization of NFL executives and others who work to increase access and opportunities for minorities interested in coaching, front office and scouting positions in the National Football League.

The Alliance is an outgrowth of efforts by the late Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., Cyrus Mehri and John Wooten who pressured the NFL for better minority inclusion. That resulted in the ‘Rooney Rule’, which requires NFL teams to interview minorities for head coaching and top executive positions.

Honored with the Paul J. Tagliabue Award were the San Francisco49ersFootball Club. The Lifetime Achievement Award recipient was Jim Brown.

John L. Hanson is the producer and host of the nationally syndicated radio series In Black America. It’s heard on home station KUT at 10 p.m. Tuesdays and 6:30 a.m. Sundays — and weekly on close to 20 stations across the country. The weekly podcast of IBA, the only nationally broadcast Black-oriented public affairs radio program, is one of KUT’s most popular podcasts.