HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Former Harrisburg High School and University of Southern California quarterback Jimmy Jones has heard the n-word more than most during his lifetime.
He says the recent post on social media by high school students took him back in time.
Jones says it was used before, during and after his historic game against Alabama in 1970.
“It was used when we went through town on the bus and used on the field,” Jones said. “It affected us the way it affects people today.”
USC won the game and Jones says it helped integrate southern schools on the field and in the classroom, but it also helped change the culture.
“I think what came out of the game, it allowed all of us to look at ourselves as human beings and it was obvious that we are much more alike than different,” Jones said.
Jones, who was not drafted at a time when most NFL executives didn’t thinks black quarterbacks could play in the league, says today’s climate reminds him of the late 60s. He says legislation will not help close the racial divide.
“If we are looking for peace and harmony among one another, then we have to practice those things that connect people each and every day,” Jones said. “Every time we come into contact with another human being, we have to practice those things so they begin to feel it, and then someone else begins to feel it.”