E. Faye Williams: Simply the best!


(TriceEdneyWire.com)—This is Super Bowl time! I have been blessed to know many of the best in sports. I want to remember some of them during this Black History Month.

First, I had the honor of knowing the one and only Dick Gregory who was a master at many things. He was a health guru, a comedy genius, a Civil and Human Rights icon, and a track star. Most of all, he was a friend to so many. He could make us feel better. He could make us feel special. He could make even those who wanted to be enemies laugh. He was a great mo­tivator, and as he was leaving this earth a few years ago, he warned us to “Wake Up and Stay Woke.” In these troubling days, we sure need to do that. His work inspired us to vote in every election. He was simply the best at motivating us to be our best selves at all times.

I had the pleasure of counting among my best friends Eddie Rob­inson. Excellence has always been associated with his name. He was a football coach at Grambling State University. You might say that he made men out of so many boys who came to Grambling by being their example of what a man should be like. He produced the best. Among them were Paul “Tank” Young­er, Willie Davis, Doug Williams, Mike Williams, Charlie Joiner, Willie Brown, Buck Buchanan, Ernie Ladd and so many more—at least 80 who joined teams in the National and American Football Leagues. In 1985, he tied Bear Bryant’s record in victories for the all-time winning coaching record. My Prairie View friends may not forgive me for mentioning this but they had to feel a little bit of pride again in 1985 when Coach won 324 games putting him on top as the Winningest Coach, causing him to receive more awards than any coach in history. He began each meeting with his players drilling into them the importance of educa­tion, and unlike many others, most of his players graduated! He was simply the best.

I knew women track stars. Among them was Wilma Ru­dolph who was my neighbor for several years. As a student, I met her in Nashville. What’s so great about Wilma is that she had to overcome a serious disability to become the star that she was. She was a world champion record hold­er in the Olympics. She won several gold medals. In the 1960’s she was known as the fastest woman in the world. She earned so many com­plimentary names for her talent. Among them are The Flash, The Black Gazelle, The Tornado, and The Black Pearl. She became the most highly visible Black woman in America and abroad. She was a strong role model for many of us and is considered a women’s rights pioneer. She taught so many how to succeed despite a handicap. That’s what Delta women so often do!

In the past few days, the world honored one who also was simply the best. I’m talking about Kobe Bryant. He motivated a new generation of young people to be Black and proud. He was so good that he became a Los Angeles Laker for life. He didn’t just play the game. He defined it. His motto was “Leave the game better than you found it.” He did just that. He and his daughter, Gianna, died in a tragic helicopter crash in 2020, but before that, he inspired so many. He’s a legend and is the subject of 3 planned statues at the Star Plaza in Los Angeles. Who could ever forget his 81-point game? He was a 5-time NBA Champion. He played with others who were great, but he is still SIMPLY THE BEST!

(Dr. E. Faye Williams is President of The Dick Gregory Society.)



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