THEY STILL CALL ME NIGGER!

The Trailblazers:  Athlete/Actor Paul Roberson and college basketball coach, Clarence Bighouse Gaines

Memories:  My first home was a one-room shack with an outhouse on Douglas Street in NE DC.  One cold morning my mother Mattie a single parent thinking I was asleep quietly slipped out of the shack to go to the corner store for bread and milk, I was 3 years old.  My German Sheperd dog Billy was sleeping nearby with a kerosene lamp burning to keep us warm. My mother returned to find the shack on fire and me sitting in the yard crying with my dog Billy standing over me. Fire trucks were all over the street.

The shack burned to the ground and the only thing left standing was the outhouse. My mother tried to thank the firemen for rescuing me from the burning shack but they explained to her they found me sitting in the yard with my dog. To this day I have no clue how I escaped from that shack on fire-Billy never said a word–the rest is American history,

HIGHLIGHTS

*In 1967 I encouraged Willie Wood (NFL) and Dave Bing (NBA) to join me in the DC community to enhance the growth of inner-city youth, Judges, politicians, law-enforcement, print, radio and television personalities, NBA-NFL-MLB & NHL franchises all followed my lead. They all now CARE!

Dave returns to ‘The Hood’ to pay homage to members of the Hillcrest Saturday Program basketball team

Dave one on one with NBA Hall of Fame player Earl ‘The Pearl’ MonroeThe Pearl and Kids In Trouble, Inc. pay tribute to Bighouse Gaines at the Foxtrappe Club in Washington, DC

In November 1968 I discovered a child lying on the bottom of the swimming pool at my Hillcrest Saturday Program. I dove into the pool and pulled  him out.  I then ran soaking wet with him in my arms to Children’s Hospital one block away.Redskins’ RB Larry Brown and LB Harold McLinton are videotaped by NFL Films teaching water safety at the Hillcrest Saturday Program

My wife Hattie teaching swimming in one of her classes at Cardozo High School in NW DC.  

*In 1969 I was honored at the White House by President Richard M. Nixon for my work with youth gangs and at-risk children.                                     Hattie joins me in the Oval Office to meet Attorney General William Rogers and President Richard M. Nixon

*In 1972 my Inside Sports talk show format changed the way we talk sports in America. The tag is now used around the World.

*Inside Sports was the first sports talk show to successfully blend sports and politics.

*Inside Sports was the first sports talk show to convene a media roundtable.  Guest, boxing greats, Sugar Ray Leonard, Don King and Larry Holmes.

 

NBA legend Red Auerbach and his wife Dotie are the guest host on Inside Sports *In 1973 I sat on The Mountain Top with Muhammad Ali

*I was the first Black sportscaster to produce and host a prime time sports special on NBC affiliate WRC TV 4 in November 1975.  My special guest, Muhammad Ali.

*In 1978 I was the first Sports & Marketing rep for Nike shoes in the DMV.Congressman Walter Fauntroy receives Nike gear from Nike rep Laura Cash and me on Capitol Hill 

*In 1979 I was the first Sports & Marketing rep in the DMV for Anheuser-Busch Beer.*I was the first sports media personality honored as Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine (1980).

Washingtonian of the Year, Washington Redskin QB Joe Theisman and me share a photo opt with teammate Mark Mosley and our wives*I have been cited in the Congressional Record on three different occasions by Congressman Lou Stokes (D-Ohio), Senator Bob Dole (R-Kan) and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).  I was honored for my work with inner-city youth.

*In Chicago in 1998 I became the first Winston-Salem State athlete to receive the first annual Clarence ‘Bighouse’ Gaines Community Service Award.

*In 2007 I found a 15-year-old autistic girl lying across the tracks at Potomac Avenue subway station SE DC. I pulled her off just as a train was entering the station. NBC affiliate WRC-TV 4 creates re-enactment of the rescue of the child at the Potomac Avenue subway station

I successfully campaigned with Washington Times legendary sports columnist the late Dick Heller and NBA legend Red Auerbach for NFL great Willie Wood and NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd to be inducted into their hall of fame after they had been overlooked.

Dick Heller congratulates Willie on his induction into the NFL Hall of Fame

Red Auerbach, me and Earl Lloyd during a Black History Month celebration at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown DC

NFL legend LB Sam Huff stops to say hello to Willie during a tribute in his honor in 2007.  The 83-year-old Huff is now suffering from dementia.

Members of the Hoffman clan, Ted Wells, Jalen and Jared Morgan bring a rare smile to Willie’s face during tribute in 2007

Willie was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1989 and Earl was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2003.  Willie’s legendary coach Vince Lombardi said, “Willie is my coach on the field.” Ronnie Lott is one of the greatest safeties to ever play in the NFL, but he has to take a backseat to the trailblazers, Dick ‘Night Train Lane’, Willie Wood and Johnny Sample.   Willie never forgot who he was and where he came from.  One week after his induction he was a guest on Inside Sports saying, “Thank You.” This month in Black History, February 3, 2020 my friend Willie Wood died.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzY5Mki8OVE/ Jim Brown, Johnny Sample, Roy Jefferson, and Willie Wood / NFL Roundtable

*On Sunday, November 24, 2019, I became the first native Washingtonian to produce a sports documentary on the Big Screen titled “The Harold Bell Story, I Remember Muhammad Ali.”

I am flawed and less than perfect, but I have never sold or done drugs, never been to jail, never snitched, never stole money from little children. I have broken bread with champs & chumps. The benefactors of Kids In Trouble and Inside Sports read like a Who’s Who.

In February 2020 they still call me NIGGER!

Noteworthy: Harvard Law School grad and sitting judge “Still A Nigger” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYsl6AQBZn4

 

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