The Chiefs have continued their efforts this year to honor Black History Month and celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
In February, in honor of Black History Month, 50 students from Kansas City Public Schools visited Arrowhead Stadium for a video conference, which examined the contributions of African American pioneers in pro football.
The program, African American Trailblazers, was created by the Pro Football Hall of Fame (PFHOF) and is designed to be highly interactive and aligns with national standards of education.
The video was presented by Pro Football Hall of Fame's Jerry Csaki via uplink and also featured Chiefs Legends, such as PFHOF LB Bobby Bell and honorary Ambassador Georgia Buchanan, widow of PFHOF DT Buck Buchanan.
Bobby Bell Speaks to a group of high school students. The program examines the contributions of African American pioneers in pro football.
Bell and Buchanan spoke with the students about continuing their educations, shared their stories and offered advice.
"Buck Buchanan was tall, athletic, had speed, but the one thing that I remember and can tell you about my husband was that he had a great attitude. He always said, 'attitude will determine your altitude.'" Buchanan said. "Your attitude will determine how high you go in life. Football was just a stepping stone.
"Think about it, if you got a contract today, but then you get hurt after the second game, what's your alternative? You have to have an education, it's the key. Your education is something no one can take away from you."
The Chiefs were one of the first professional teams to scout players from historically black colleges and universities. Notable players include Pro Football Hall of Famers DT Buck Buchanan (Grambling State) and LB Willie Lanier (Morgan State), who were each among the inaugural class of inductees enshrined in the Black College Football Hall of Fame (2010). READ MORE. "Lamar Hunt started recruiting and went out to the small black schools and started recruiting black players," Bell said. "Lamar came up to me at Minnesota and asked me to be a part of his organization. I never talked with the coaches, only Lamar and I agreed to it. We had some great players on our team, fast and quick."
Bell went on to discuss how others in the NFL took note and started to recruit blacks as well.
"Other teams started looking and said, 'wait a minute, where are they getting all these players?'" Bell said. "There were still a lot of restrictions for blacks and when I first came to Kansas City I wasn't allowed to eat in certain restaurants. I've been through a lot of stuff, but you have to do it and fight for it in the right way."
Bell was thankful for the opportunity Lamar and Hank Stram provided. In recognition of the organization's efforts, the Olathe NAACP has previously named both founder Lamar Hunt (2010) and head coach Andy Reid (2014) as the Diversity Advocate in Sports honoree during its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy and Scholarship Awards Dinner.
Bell also noted how professional football helped him with many other things in life, such as his education and life lessons. He encouraged the students to continue their education, fight the good fight in the right way without violence and take opportunities as they come.
To learn more about the program, visit profootballhof.com.