Topic: and game two, including taking out a NSW players player award.Jackson
BOSTON -- From his den in Huntsville, Alabama, Onree Jackson will quietly root to see Jacoby Brissett under center when he watches New England host Houston on Thursday night.Almost 50 years have passed, but Jackson still remembers his excitement when he was drafted out of Alabama A&M in 1969 by the Boston Patriots -- the franchises first black quarterback.Back then, the team hailed his potential to be the Willie Mays of pro football. But he never played in a regular-season NFL game.Now, Brissett could establish a footnote for a franchise born in a city with a complicated racial past, its first African-American player to start at quarterback. While the Patriots have been racially progressive in other ways, the New York Giants are the only other NFL team to have never started an African-American quarterback.Brissetts opportunity comes because of two unusual factors. Tom Brady, the teams cornerstone, is suspended four games for his role in using underinflated footballs in the playoffs in 2015. And Bradys backup, Jimmy Garoppolo, has a shoulder injury and is listed as doubtful for Thursday.While none have started a regular-season game, the Patriots have drafted eight African-American quarterbacks. Michael Bishop played the most, appearing in eight games in 2000.The potential distinction shows how much things have changed in 50 years.When I got there, there was a baseball player with the Red Sox and he said in the paper, `You know theyre not going to have an N-word quarterback here in Boston, Jackson, 69, recalled in an interview with The Associated Press.It was funny to him, I think, because they had a picture of him laughing in the papers, Jackson said. I had a shot, and I didnt make it under their rules.Bostons professional teams -- like the citys neighborhoods -- had different reactions to the civil rights movement and the integration of professional sports.While the Celtics and Bruins broke barriers in pro basketball and hockey, the Red Sox were the last Major League Baseball team to field a black player. Pumpsie Green took the field at Fenway Park in 1959 -- more than a decade after Jackie Robinson played for the Dodgers and even after Willie ORee took the ice for Boston in the all-white NHL. The Red Sox gave both Robinson and Mays tryouts in the 1940s before opting not to sign them.Meanwhile, the Patriots neither led nor trailed the pack on such issues.Jackson was drafted by Rommie Loudd, the AFLs first black assistant coach before he joined the Patriots in 1966. He moved to the teams front office and became its personnel director in 1969, one of the first black personnel directors in the NFL.Jackson said he thought everything was fine until he drew consistent ire from then-coach Clive Rush, who told Jackson: Joe wouldnt do that.He was talking about Namath, Jackson said. Me being who I am, and where I was from and all, I just accepted that and went on.Jackson was waived after a few months. Rush told the Frederick Daily Leader at the time that Jackson was behind three other quarterbacks.As Ive grown older, I can see little signs that said, `You arent going to make it because youre a black quarterback. Thats the way I interpreted it, anyway, Jackson said.Rush was fired after a losing season in 1969 and 1-6 start in 1970.New England has never had a black head coach. Romeo Crennel, now defensive coordinator in Houston, held that job in New England before he was head coach in Cleveland and Kansas City. Bobby Grier, who is black, was an assistant coach with the Patriots who rose to be vice president of player personnel from 1997-2000.Richard Johnson, curator of the Boston Sports Museum, said while the quarterback milestone would be unintentional, there has never been talk of race influencing the Pats personnel decisions.Under Bill Belichick, the best player has always played, Johnson said.Richard Lapchick, who has pushed for diversity across college and professional sports from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports, said the Patriots under owner Robert Kraft have consistently pushed for inclusion in several ways.They were working in the community on gender violence prevention in the early 1990s, 20 years before Ray Rice or even before O.J., Lapchick said.The Patriots were also one of the first teams to help NFL players finish their degrees.Josh Johnson, who is black and one of three Giants quarterbacks, was surprised when told his team could be the last to cross this particular racial benchmark.It shows progress, he said. Thats all you want to see, progress. Good luck to (Brissett), I hope he goes out and takes advantage of it. Opportunities come far and few.Though it didnt work out for Jackson, he said hes proud to have played a part toward seeing a day when no one notices who is or isnt under center.Its a pride thing now, he said. Im proud of what happened. Though I didnt make it, it was kind of a foot in the door type-thing.---This story has been corrected to show that Michael Bishop, not Rohan Davey, has played the most games for the Patriots as an African-American quarterback.---AP Sports Writers Jimmy Golen in Boston and Tom Canavan in East Rutherford, New Jersey, contributed to this report.---Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/khightower Authentic Brian Allen Jersey . Radwanska, making her debut in the Seoul tournament, hit eight aces in a match that lasted 1 hour, 4 minutes at Olympic Park tennis stadium. 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Josh Jackson says a win in the State of Origin III dead rubber is vital for the confidence of a young NSW side moving forward.Queensland wrapped up another interstate series win in Brisbane last month.But as Blues coach Laurie Daley prepares to blood his seventh and eighth debutants in Wade Graham and James Tedesco in Origin III, Jackson believes a win is vital for a group of young players likely to wear the NSW jersey for years to come.A win helps get the confidence out of knowing you can beat this Queensland side, Jackson told AAP.We have been close the last two times but we need to get confidence you can score points and get the win with a newer bunch of guys because it will probably be a similar team for the next few years.We just need to capitalise on the opportunities we do get.Long recognised as a player capable of leading NSW to a successful State of Origin futuure, Jackson is at last beginning to feel comfortable in the Blues jersey.ddddddddddddThe Canterbury back-rower has impressed with eye-catching performances in game one and game two, including taking out a NSW players player award.Jackson, 25, made his Blues debut last year after representing Australia in two games in 2014 and will play his fifth Origin match in game three at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday.The more you play and the more experience you get, you get more confidence with that as well, he said.I am definitely feeling more comfortable at Origin level.The first two games this year were very disappointing but I can take the experience out of that.In the next one, good to get the win. 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