A Wisconsin museum is highlighting the contribution of the Green Bay Packers’ first African-American players in a new exhibit, as the team the gears up to celebrate its centenary in professional football.
Neville Public Museum executive director Beth Lemke says adding the exhibit called “Delay of Game” will help visitors “discover how the experiences, challenges, and contributions of African American players have changed this community.”
The display highlights players, including defensive halfback and safety Emlen Tunnell, defensive end Lionel Aldridge and defensive end Reggie White, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.
The exhibit also includes the Packers’ first African American player, wide receiver Bob Mann. He played for the team from 1950-1954.
“When he joined the team he could not stay in the hotels where the teams were playing or even where they were based in Green Bay,” Mann’s widow, Vera Mann said.
She said the team would find a shack for Mann that “didn’t have heat or water, but that is all that was available to him at that time.”
Bob Mann would say that “it was a sign of the times and just politics … So he did not really think a lot about race, as odd that sounds,” according to his daughter, Marilyn Matthews.
Mann was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1988. He died in 2006 at the age of 82.
The exhibit opened Aug. 11 and will remain open until March 2019.