By Lenny Moon
Recently retired Chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance John Wooten is currently a candidate for the Pro Football Hall of
Fame as a Contributor. Wooten became the first ever chair of the Alliance from its inception in 2003 when famed attorney Johnnie Cochran and esteemed legal colleague Cyrus Mehri founded the organization to partner with the National Football League to address the lack of minority opportunities in categories of head coach, front office and the like. Prior to his involvement with the FPA, Wooten was an All-Pro offensive lineman for the Cleveland Browns and the Washington Redskins, having blocked for Hall of Fame members Jim Brown, Bobby Mitchell and Leroy Kelley. The Riverview, Tx native was also involved in one of the biggest blockbuster trades in recent memory while in the Player Personnel department of the Dallas Cowboys, when the franchise-changing Herschel Walker trade was consummated providing future draft picks that propelled America’s Team to multiple titles in the 90s, among many other NFL career achievements. Some might recall Wooten, along with Bill Russell, Brown, Mayor Carl Stokes, Lew Alcindor (aka Kareem Jabbar) and others were captured on the now famous photo of lending their support to Muhammad Ali rejecting the military draft for religious reasons and threatened imprisonment by the US government in 1967.
NFL COMMISIONER ROGER GODDELL ON WOOTEN (SEE VIDEO)
NFL LEGEND JIM BROWN ON FORMER TEAMMATE AND COLLEAGUE WOOTEN WITH LENNY MOON (SEE VIDEO)
JAMES “SHACK” HARRIS-1ST BLACK NFL STARTING QB, 1974 PRO BOWL MVP, NFL EXEC, BLACK COLLEGE FB HOF FOUNDER ON WOOTEN WITH LENNY MOON (SEE VIDEO)