Bernard Kinsey at the Kinsey Collection at SoFi Stadium (LA Rams / Travis Ellison)

The Los Angeles Rams partnered with the Kinsey Collection at SoFi Stadium to host the “Threaded Through History” Exhibit Experience. During the event, the Rams unveiled an authentic replica jersey worn by Kenny Washington from 1946-48.

Washington broke the color barrier for the NFL while playing for the L.A. Rams. His 92-yard touchdown run is still unbroken to this day.

Rams director of social justice and football development Johnathan Franklin recognized how he benefited from Washington breaking the color barrier.

“When you think about all the things that [Washington] had to overcome, the moments of adversity, the barriers has to break,” said Rams director of social justice and football development Johnathan Franklin. “The racial segregation, the slurs, walking into a huddle being the only Black man, walking into cities being the only Black man and still, he continued to … make sure he stood for something greater than himself.”

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Kenny Washington’s replica jersey looms in the backdrop as Rams legend Steven Jackson conducts his Fireside Chat (LA Rams / Travis Ellison)

Bernard Kinsey, the co-founder of the Kinsey African American Art & History Collection, noted how his son curated the exhibit at SoFi.

“What our family’s been doing for the past 50-something years is documenting all of the wonderful people that have made accomplishments that nobody knows about,” Kinsey said. “When you take Kenny Washington one year before Jackie Robinson integrated Major League Baseball … many of us did not know that he did that.”

Ebbets Field Flannels manufactured the original jersey that Washington wore. The company is also the first manufacturer of Negro League merchandise, according to Ebbets Field Flannels Manager of Business Development Andrew Hyman.

“Then he decided “I need football” so he went to knitting mills and made jerseys for Pacific Coast League football teams, like the L.A. Bulldogs, the Hollywood Bears, who Kenny Washington played for,” Hyman said.

The Brotherhood Crusade was gifted a $5000 grant at the Threaded through History event (LA Rams / Travis Ellison)

The Rams keep the legacy of Washington alive through their two programs: Rams pLAmakers and the Kenny Washington Memorial Scholarship. At the Threaded Through History event, recipients from both programs shared their experiences in a panel discussion.

The first Rams pLAmakers recipient is Sherri Francois who is the executive director of the SOLA I CAN FOUNDATION and the chief impact officer of SOLA IMPACT.

“SOLA IMPACT is a social impact real estate fund and what that means is we provide affordable housing to low-income, under-invested communities of color,” Francois said. “We’re about making sure that the work that we do, our developments, that the community, that our youth, that our residents benefit from our development.”

During the event, the Brotherhood Crusade received a $5000 grant from pLAmakers.

Rams all-time leading rusher Steven Jackson had a Fireside Chat that was moderated by Rams vice president of communications Artis Twyman. Jackson talked about his upbringing in Arkansas, his career playing in St. Louis, and the impact Washington had on his life.

Jackson noted how the talents of past athletes inspired him to he stellar on the gridiron and to further speak out against social justice issues.

“[Washington’s] legacy, it speaks to being able to be determined and stick it out,” Jackson said. “We all stand on the shoulders of others. For [Washington] he didn’t have so many shoulders to stand on because he was at the ground floor.”