CIRCA 1972: Linebacker Willie Lanier #63 of the Kansas City Chiefs watches the action from the sideline during an NFL football game circa 1972. Lanier played for the Chiefs from 1967-77. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
69. Chiefs employ Lloyd Wells, NFL’s first black scout (1960s)
In the 1960s, teams in the National Football League had a quota on how many black players they would draft for their rosters. While the quota was unspoken, the notion was understood. In the American Football League, the eight teams were desperately trying to find talent wherever they could, leading to a much more tolerant policy. The AFLs most mixed team was the Kansas City Chiefs, which truly never race form the beginning.
In the decade, Kansas City hired Lloyd Wells. Wells was a scout for the team who would mostly go on to mine the historically black colleges in the south, hoping to uncover some gems for the Chiefs. Wells paid off in spades, helping to bring in Otis Taylor while the Dallas Cowboys were actively holding him in a hotel room, hoping to sign him. Wells was also instrumental in finding Emmitt Thomas and Willie Lanier, who would both go onto the Hall of Fame.
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