From Motors to Motown, so much of Detroit’s history is integral to America’s history and that includes our football team. The first Black drafted player to ever play in an NFL game was Detroit Lions running back Walley Triplett. Not much is known about this legacy, so two women Camille Tucker and Mandy Hart are set on telling his story in a new movie. They joined Tati Amare to talk all about the importance of this special project.
In 1949, three black football players became the first black players to be drafted into the National Football League. The first of these draftees to play in an actual game was Detroit Lions running back Wally Triplett. Triplett came to the Lions after a successful career at Penn State University. Two years into his football career, Triplett was drafted into the Korean War, and became the first NFL player to be drafted and serve his country.
Triplett’s story is not widely told, and movie writers Camille Tucker and Mandy Hart want to change that. They are writing a movie all about Triplett’s life from his days as a student at Penn State to his time on the Detroit Lions. Tucker wants to tell this story because she says Triplett is an unsung hero who is truly an example of Black excellence. Hart was inspired by Triplett because he was a warrior for justice. Hart says Triplett fought for justice both on and off the field. They hope his story inspires other.
This isn’t the first time Tucker has brought to life the story of famous Detroiters. She was also one of the writers on the Clark Sisters biopic. That film premiered on the Lifetime channel.