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This profile was last updated on 12/27/13  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Football Player

Phone: (785) ***-****  HQ Phone
Kansas University
16511 Naismith Drive
Lawrence, Kansas 66045
United States

 
Background

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

Education

  • bachelor's degree , education
    KU
104 Total References
Web References
Former Kansas University football player ...
www2.kusports.com, 27 Dec 2013 [cached]
Former Kansas University football player Homer Floyd, right, and oldest son J.C. pose during Homer's standout KU career. Floyd, who was a co-captain and led KU in rushing and tackles several times from 1956 to 1958, dedicated his post-KU career to promoting civil rights.
Stories this photo appears in: Tease photo
Former KU football captain Homer Floyd spends career pushing for social equality
The personal rejections - "You can't eat here. "You and your wife can't live here. - based on nothing but the color of his skin happened more than 50 years ago, but those sorts of wounds never age, never fully heal. It's how Homer Floyd, the best football player at Kansas University when Wilt Chamberlain was the best basketball player, used those emotional wounds to make the world a better place and turned him into an iconic civil rights figure.
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Former KU football captain Homer Floyd spends career pushing for social equality December 26, 2013
Tease photo | Former KU football ...
www2.kusports.com, 26 Dec 2013 [cached]
Tease photo | Former KU football captain Homer Floyd spends career pushing for social equality | 11 comments | Former KU football captain Homer Floyd spends career pushing for social equality December 26, 2013
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Tease photo | Former KU football captain Homer Floyd spends career pushing for social equality | 11 comments | Former KU football captain Homer Floyd spends career pushing for social equality December 26, 2013
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Former KU football captain Homer Floyd spends career pushing for social equality
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Former Kansas University football player Homer Floyd, right, and oldest son J.C. pose during Homer's standout KU career. Floyd, who was a co-captain and led KU in rushing and tackles several times from 1956 to 1958, dedicated his post-KU career to promoting civil rights.
Former Kansas University football player Homer Floyd, right, and oldest son J.C. pose during Homer's standout KU career. Floyd, who was a co-captain and led KU in rushing and tackles several times from 1956 to 1958, dedicated his post-KU career to promoting civil rights.
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It's how Homer Floyd, the best football player at Kansas University when Wilt Chamberlain was the best basketball player, used those emotional wounds to make the world a better place and turned him into an iconic civil rights figure.
Honored this past fall by his alma mater's Black Alumni Chapter's African-American Leaders and Innovators Project, Floyd retired in Jan. 2011 after 41 years as director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.
"There were three theaters in town," Floyd, 77, said of Lawrence in the mid-to-late 1950s. "Two had balconies and one didn't. African-Americans had to sit in the balcony."
KU chancellor Franklin D. Murphy, Floyd said, didn't like that.
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"He sent out an edict that if the theaters didn't eliminate that segregation practice he would declare the theaters off-limits to all students, and he would rent movies and show them on campus for free," said Floyd, who lives near Harrisburg, Pa. "That was one of the things that ended segregation in Lawrence."
There were still a few restaurants practicing segregation, Floyd said. He credited "Wilt's presence" as a factor in them integrating.
"I could walk in a restaurant and nobody knew me," said Floyd, who led KU in rushing three times (1956-58) and tackles "two or three seasons," as a safety, his anonymity preserved by a helmet and the fact he wasn't a 7-footer.
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Floyd remembered having to stay in a different hotel from white teammates in Fort Worth, Texas, where the Jayhawks played TCU. After he was cut by the Cleveland Browns, who already had Jim Brown and Bobby Mitchell carrying the football, and returned to Kansas City to find housing with his wife, Mattie, whom he wed as a senior in high school, a much deeper wound was split open.
"We had to stay at a hotel for two and a half, three weeks before we could find a place that would rent to us," Floyd said. "Those experiences put me in a position to want to do more than just talk about the problems."
Consequently, Floyd left $2,000 on the table in choosing a job with the Kansas Civil Rights Commission over one promoting beer for a brewing company.
"It hurt even more so with the kids, trying to explain to kids why they can't go in a restaurant or can't have access to this park or swimming pool, those kinds of things, it hurts," Floyd said. "Part of what I was looking at was not so much trying to get back at anybody, but to try to create a fair environment so everyone can prosper."
During his time with the Kansas Civil Rights Commission, Floyd shared a stage with Martin Luther King in the civil rights leader's final speaking engagement at a university campus, Jan. 19, 1968, at Kansas State.
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Among the names on the note: Homer C. Floyd.
During his 41 years in Pennsylvania, Floyd worked under six different governors from both political parties.
"A sense of fairness and justice," Floyd said. "That was largely what I was hoping for in trying to build an agency, build an organization, to make sure everybody had an equal chance. And in a democracy, that's what it promises."
Floyd expressed pride in the role the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission played in pushing for fair housing, fair pay for women in the workplace and equal opportunities for the disabled. He also worked on behalf of those unfairly treated based on age.
In many cases, Floyd said, Pennsylvania passed legislation on fairness issues well in an advance of the federal government.
KU 'terrific' experience
Floyd said that aside from isolated, hurtful incidents, none of which occurred within the football team, his experience as a student-athlete was "terrific. Absolutely."
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Floyd, from Massillon, Ohio, estimated he received scholarship offers from 50 schools.
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Ohio State's Woody Hayes had invited Floyd to sit on the sideline for many Buckeyes games, but according to Floyd, "he wasn't terribly enthusiastic about me getting married because he had to make different (housing) arrangements. Purdue, it was no problem for them, and it was no problem for KU."
Homer and Mattie, who died in 2007, were married 52 years, so giving up a Buckeyes helmet was the best trade Floyd ever made. He and Mattie had three children: J.C., Cheryl and Damon.
Floyd never played for a college coaching legend but did play for a high school coaching legend in both high school and college.
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"I always felt Mather was a really great coach and ahead of his time," Floyd said.
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"First of all, we've made great progress, there is no question about that," Floyd said.
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Floyd cited the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African-American at the hand of George Zimmerman, who was acquitted a year-and-a-half later.
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"We are socialized along racial lines," Floyd said "White folks talk to white folks.
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Floyd explained how he believes minds too often are made up ahead of examining facts.
"If you look at it in the sense that you can have the same set of facts on an issue, but how you are socialized, you will view those facts differently," he said.
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Tackling it isn't as easy as it was for Floyd to tackle receivers and running backs.
"Part of our challenge to some extent is narrow that gap by recognizing there is diversity and we have to have experiences across racial and ethnic lines in order to understand," he said.
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As the story was told to Floyd, one influential member of the family wanted him to be named Homer Floyd.
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With that spirit of compromise hard-wired in his DNA, maybe Floyd was destined to become a difference maker capable of drawing harmony out of discord.
YouTube
Homer Floyd interview
- Home
iaohra.squarespace.com, 10 Nov 2013 [cached]
One of the Alumni honored will be Homer Floyd, former Board of Directors of IAOHRA.
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Floyd devoted his career to civil rights enforcement. During the 1960s, he directed the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, Topeka Human Relations Commis­sion, the Omaha Human Relations Board and the Kansas Commission on Civil Rights. As executive director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission from 1970 until his retirement in 2011, he led the resolution of cases that benefited millions of racial minorities, women and people with disabilities. In 1999 and 2002, he received the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Outstanding Achievement Award and was board member on the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies.
Homer C. Floyd, ...
www.iaohra.org, 3 April 2011 [cached]
Homer C. Floyd, Treasurer International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies c/o Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission 301 Chestnut Street, Suite 300 Harrisburg, PA 17101
- Members
www.iaohra.org, 1 July 2013 [cached]
Homer C. Floyd, Former Executive Director Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission 301 Chestnut Street, Suite 300 Harrisburg, PA 17101
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