Updated: January 20, 2017

A few days ago I watched a very inspiring movie about Syracuse Football All-American ERNIE DAVIS.  Ernie Davis was so good he could be our Athlete of the Week! It all started when Ernie, an African American, and his friend were picking up garbage on train tracks when two white kids came up and told them to get off the tracks because they were picking up garbage there. Ernie’s friend was scared and jumped on a train, but Ernie stayed.  They said if Ernie did not get off in 3 seconds they would get him.  The seconds went by 3…2…1…0.  Ernie still stood there surrounded. The circle closed, and that’s when Ernie did the most amazing thing. He ran, hurdled, and spun past everyone in his path, and he still held on to the trash bag.  That’s when something said in Ernie’s mind said, “I want to be a football player and not just a football player, the best football player.”

Ernie went through high school as a beast trucking everyone in his path. When the coaches of Syracuse saw him they were in shock and brought former Syracuse and NFL star Jim Brown to recruit him. At Syracuse he wore Jim Brown’s number 44. Ernie played so well for them and led them to the Cotton Bowl against Texas. The Longhorn’s coach was prejudice against Ernie and told his team to try to injure him in the part that hurt Ernie at practice. Syracuse ended up winning the Cotton Bowl and later that week the Heisman trophy was announced. (Drum roll please…) The Heisman went to Ernie Davis. Ernie was the first African American to win the Heisman.

Ernie got drafted 1st in the 1962 NFL draft but never got to play in an NFL game because he got diagnosed with Leukemia, a rare form of cancer, and died soon after.  Ernie’s legacy still lives on. Even though Ernie was a star athlete, during his life he faced constant racism.  If you liked this inspiring story you should watch the movie the Express. I liked this story because it teaches you to never give up even when everything is against you.

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