Deacon Jones Still Pained By Memories Of Florida
How tough was it to grow up in Florida as a young black kid in the 1940 and 50s?
During a recent episode of “A Football Life” on NFL Network former Los Angeles Rams defensive end Deacon Jones, a member of the infamous Fearsome Foursome, reminisced about those segregated days.
“I didn’t just hear about riding on the back of the bus, I rode on the back of the bus,” Jones said. “I was put in jail from trying to sit down and eat a meal… I almost got hung, myself, down there when I was in school.”
In a speech he gave in 1982 at the Black College Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement, which followed that quote during the episode, Jones shed more light on what it was like for him while growing up outside of Orlando in the historically black neighborhood of Eatonville.
“I stood in front of that water hose. I remember the denials and all the nasty comments,” Jones said. “I never went to school with a caucasian guy. The first one I hit without the police coming after me was in the pros.”
And he’s still not come to terms with the life he was subject to living during those early years in Florida.
“Hell, I don’t like holding that grudge. I wish I could dump it. But I lived it,” Jones said. “I got too much hate in me.”
Jones went on to star in the National Football League from 1961-74, where he also spent two seasons with the San Diego Chargers and one with the Washington Redskins.
A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Jones currently resides in California and is one of two members of the Fearsome Foursome still alive.
Posted on October 30, 2012, in – Local Prep Alumni, – Video Highlights and tagged A Football Life, Black College Football Hall of Fame, Deacon Jones, Eatonville, Fearsome Foursome, Los Angeles Rams, NFL, NFL Network, Orlando, Pro Football Hall of Fame, San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.