Wally Triplett, ‘one of the true trailblazers,’ dies at age 92

Wally Triplett, one of the first African-Americans to be selected in the NFL draft, died Thursday at age 92. Triplett also was the first African-American starter at Penn State.

Triplett was selected in the 19th round of the 1949 draft by the Detroit Lions as a running back and returner. He was one of three black players drafted that year; of those three, he was the first to appear in a game.

In a 2015 story on MLive.com, Triplett described what it was like watching the NFL draft now and how it compares to the year he was drafted.

“When I look at this thing they call the draft now, I laugh at it with tears because to be drafted now means you’re automatically in a group with people that are going to get paid for doing nothing,” Triplett said. “You’re going to get paid before [you] play, and so you…

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