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Current players must honor history

Meeting the great Bill Willis would do a world of good for some of today's NFL players, writes Michael Smith.

Updated: February 24, 2007, 4:00 PM ET
By Michael Smith | ESPN.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- On Friday, I had the privilege of attending the Fritz Pollard Alliance's annual meeting and awards reception. The Alliance gave Hall of Famer and former Browns great Bill Willis a "Game Ball Award" for helping re-integrate pro football in 1946. His remarks gave me perspective.

I want to focus on the word privilege. The Hyatt Regency ballroom would not be filled with African-American coaches, scouts and executives if not for Willis doing for his game what Jackie Robinson did ...

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