Sixty-five years have passed, but Gino Marchetti remembers first meeting George Taliaferro, then a Colts running back.
“I arrived late for a team banquet [in Baltimore], and I saw this black guy sitting at a table by himself,” Marchetti said. “I said, ‘Mind if I sit here?’ He said, ‘OK.’ ”
Afterward, Taliaferro turned to the big defensive end and said, “I want to thank you.”
For what, Marchetti asked.
“For sitting with me,” his teammate said.
“That was George,” said Marchetti, 92, a Pro Football Hall of Famer. “He was a quiet guy who didn’t make any noise — except on the field when he got the ball.”
Taliaferro, the first black player ever drafted by the...