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Fritz Pollard Alliance Honors Diversity Champions During the 17th Annual Cochran Salute to Excellence Awards

Gaby M. Rojas

The Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation will host its 17th Annual Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr., Salute to Excellence Awards to recognize the achievements and long-standing commitment of individuals and organizations dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance, named after Frederick Douglass “Fritz” Pollard, was one of two African Americans to play in the league at its inception in 1920 and the NFL’s first Black head coach in 1921. The legacy of Fritz Pollard exudes strength, courage, and inclusiveness – the Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Salute to Excellence award winners embody these characteristics. Notable guests will include NFL great, Jim Brown, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and other luminaries.  Dawnn Lewis, an American actress, will host the award ceremony. 

“We will continue our advocacy for Black and minority coaches. Just know, that we will not stop shining the light on their excellence, because they are good enough to lead,” said Graves.

WHO: Rod Graves, Executive Director, Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation

Keynote: Katrina Adams, former United States Tennis Association (USTA) President & CEO

Salute to Excellence Award

Jennifer King, Assistant Running Backs Coach, Washington Football Team

James Brown, Sports Broadcaster & Host, NFL Today (CBS)

John B. Wooten Award

Cleveland Browns

Paul J. Tagliabue Award

National Basketball Association

Dan M. Rooney Lifetime Achievement Award

Bruce Arians, Head Coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fritz Pollard Trophy

Jessie Malit, Senior, North Carolina Central University

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