New Movie to Tell Story of Montco Native, Penn State Legend Who Broke Color Barriers in College, Pro Football

Christine Tarlecki
Wally Triplett football player
Image via The Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Wally Triplett broke color barriers in college and professional football.

A new movie is set to introduce to the world the uniquely powerful story of Montgomery County native Wally Triplett, a talented athlete who broke the color barriers in college and professional football, writes Cory Nightingale for The Palm Beach Post.

Triplett, who grew up in an all-white neighborhood in Cheltenham, received a football scholarship from the University of Miami in 1945.

The 5-foot-10 player immediately suspected the school assumed he was white, so he wrote back that he was Black. Unsurprisingly, the school rescinded his scholarship.

However, this rejection only served to strengthen Triplett’s dedication. He went to play for Penn State, where he became the first Black player to start for the Nittany Lions.

Two years later, he became the first Black player to play at the Cotton Bowl in then-segregated Texas. The year leading up to that game will be the main focus of the movie that is currently in development.

Triplett continued to break barriers after college, becoming the first Black NFL draftee to play in an NFL game with the Detroit Lions in 1949.

Read more about Wally Triplett in The Palm Beach Post.