Johnny Robinson thought football had forgotten him

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Johnny Robinson, 80, waited for what seemed like forever before he received the call last August that he was the 2019 seniors nominee to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Dallas Texans and Chiefs defensive back found out in February, the day before Super Bowl LIII, he had earned enshrinement into Canton.

On Saturday, Robinson had his day in the sun.

“It’s been 47 years since I last played football, and for this all time I thought I had been forgotten,” Robinson said in a pre-recorded 5-minute, 26-second acceptance speech. “I can’t tell you how I was pleased I was to be notified that I had been selected as the senior finalist after all these years. But then, to receive that knock on the door from [Pro Football Hall of Fame President] David Baker seems surreal to me.

“I think back to when I was young boy and all I wanted to do was play ball.”

Robinson played 164 games in 12 NFL seasons and made 57 interceptions.

“The journey to the Pro Football Hall of Fame may have been long and the road may have been hard at times, but I found that sometimes you must go through the valley in order to stand upon the mountain,” Robinson said. “I used to wonder why I had not been inducted into the Hall of Fame all these years. Then, I came to realize that God was in control of my life, and I believe that God wanted me to start my boys home. In 1980, I answered the call on my life and founded the Johnny Robinson Boys Home in Monroe, Louisiana. It is a place where boys can make positive life changes and get a fresh start on life. You will still find me there most every day.”