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As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King as a nation today, we also take some time to remember two Trojans, Sam "Bam" Cunningham and C.R. Roberts, who inspired the civil rights movement with their outstanding play, which eventually led to the integration of college football in the South.

As expertly told in the HBO documentary "Breaking the Huddle," Cunningham was the straw that broke the camel's back in terms of integrating SEC football in 1970.  The USC fullback ran for 135 yards and 2 touchdowns against all-white Alabama in Birmingham to convince "Bear" Bryant and the Tide that the future was already here.

More than a decade before Cunningham, C.R. Roberts became the first black player to compete against a white player in the state of Texas.  The 1956 match-up between USC and Texas in Austin was controlled by Roberts, who racked up 251 yards rushing in only 12 minutes of play, and earned cheers from the road crowd.

Click here for more on Roberts.

Here is a CSTV feature on the 1970 USC-Alabama game including a great story about an airport meeting between "Bear" Bryant and John McKay and the great Cunningham performance...


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