Bobby Grier, Pitt legend, dies at 91

Bobby Grier, a Pitt Athletics Hall of Famer who was the first Black player to play in the Sugar Bowl, died on June 30. He was 91.The university confirmed Grier’s death on Sunday.In a 2023 interview, Grier said he wasn’t thinking about breaking a color barrier when he played in the 1956 Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2, his 23rd birthday.”I didn’t think anything of it,” Grier said.Pitt’s Sugar Bowl opponent was Georgia Tech, and then-Georgia governor Marvin Griffin tried to keep Grier from playing in the game at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans during a time of racial segregation. But Grier’s teammates refused to travel without him and Georgia Tech also supported him.”They said we’re not going down without him. No Grier, no game,” Grier said.Though he wasn’t allowed to stay in the team hotel, Grier would not be denied.”I’m very proud of what I did,” he said.

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