KY’s Nate Northington, First African American Football Player in SEC


WKU Libraries’ Kentucky Live! series hosted Nathaniel Northington, the first African American football player in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), on the evening of Thursday, March 19 at Barnes & Noble bookstore. He talked about his autobiography Still Running on his role during the Civil Rights Movement in which he became a sports pioneer helping to integrate SEC football.

In 1965 Northington signed an athletic scholarship to play football for the University of Kentucky, making him the first African American athlete to play any sport in the SEC. After turmoil following Page’s death and a series of shoulder injuries, Northington left UK for Western Kentucky University, where he scored a touchdown to win the WKU Homecoming game of 1970 against Eastern Kentucky University.


African American Studies | American Popular Culture | Sports Studies