L.A. Rams Honor Kenny Washington
In honor of Black History Month, the Los Angeles Rams recently hosted a powerful short film documentary premiere, “Kingfish: The Story of Kenny Washington.” The Los Angeles Rams worked alongside The BLK Originals and award winning video production company Loyd Visuals to produce the inspiring docustyle short film that tells the story of Kenny Washington, who was the first Black player to be signed by a National Football League (NFL) team in the modern era. His signing ended a 12 year ban on Black players in the NFL.
On March 21, 1946 the Los Angeles Rams broke the NFL color barrier with the signing of Washington, a Los Angeles native and UCLA All-American standout football player. Prior to attending UCLA, Washington was standout dual sport athlete at Lincoln High School bringing them both a football and baseball State Championship. Washington was the first All-American in UCLA history. During his time at UCLA Washington played alongside Jackie Robinson, who broke the Major League Baseball (MLB) color barrier on April 15, 1947, and Woody Strode one of the few famous Black Actors to star as a cowboy in a Hollywood western.
The short film premiere screening was held at the Miracle Theatre in Inglewood and was attended by a few hundred LA Rams’ fans, as well as front office personnel.
“The story of Kenny Washington and his timeless impact on our game and all of professional sports has often been overlooked,” said Kevin Demoff, Chief Operation Officer of the Los Angeles Rams. “Kenny’s inspirational determination and commitment to leading through adversity set the standard for the Los Angeles Rams. Following the 75th anniversary of him reintegrating the NFL, we wanted to shine a light on this legend and his legacy with this film. Kenny’s pioneering role in NFL history should be celebrated and never forgotten,” added Demoff.
Even though Washington’s stint with the Rams was brief, he still holds the record for the longest run from scrimmage with a 92-yard touchdown run. After his football career Washington did some acting, appearing in several films and served in the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) as a police officer. Washington died in 1971.