We realize that some readers are bored with the daily updates on the minor additions to the Washington Redskins’ coaching staff. But we think the news that the Redskins have hired Richmond Flowers III as a coaching assistant is worth a few minutes of your time.
Depending on your age, you might know the name Richmond Flowers because Richmond Flowers III appeared on Hard Knocks when he was in training camp with the Dallas Cowboys. Or you might know the name because Richmond Flowers Jr. played for the Cowboys and Giants. Or you might know the name because Richmond Flowers Sr. was attorney general of Alabama in the 1960s.
Flowers Sr., who died in 2007, took courageous stands against segregation, spoke out against Governor George Wallace and prosecuted Ku Klux Klansmen for killing civil rights workers. Flowers Jr. was an outstanding athlete in both football and track who decided to attend Tennessee instead of Alabama because his father’s support of civil rights had made him an immensely unpopular man in his home state.
The Flowers family was the subject of a fascinating 1997 Sports Illustrated profile by William Nack. That profile begins with the story of Richmond Flowers Jr. contacting Duke to see about his son, Richmond Flowers III, could get a football scholarship. Flowers III got that scholarship, and although Hard Knocks viewers will recall Flowers III as a player who just didn’t quite have the physical tools to make it as a player in the NFL, he has now made it as a coach.