The recent death of Brad Pye Jr., the "godfather" of LA's black sports journalists, caused many people to think about Pye's legacy. The following are some of the comments his admirers shared with the L.A. Sentinel.
Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., L.A. Sentinel Executive Publisher and CEO of Bakewell Media:
"I was sad to hear that Brad Pye had died. I've known Brad for years. Brad was not only a legendary sports journalist, but also a man of such brilliance that he could break down discriminatory practices in sports to bring about change for all black people in Los Angeles and across the country through sports. He was respected by African Americans in all sports. Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jim Brown wanted and wanted to speak to Brad.
He was the first African American to have a Heisman vote, which I think he still had until he died. It was an honor to call Brad a friend and colleague, and I was even more satisfied when Brad returned to the Sentinel family in March 2016 as an emeritus sports editor. "
William "Bill" Burke, chairman of the South Coast Air Quality Management District and founder of the LA marathon: "In the days when Muhammad Ali was fighting, he (Brad) was an icon in the business and we looked at him every time Ali came to Los Angeles to either drop in, call or acknowledge that we respect him. Brad is always came to the LA marathon and I appreciated him for it. ”
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
"Brad will be remembered as a man with many innovations, the first recognized African American sports journalist in Southern California, the first black administrator of the National Football League Commission and the first African American PR and scout for Los Angeles and then San Diego's football team" said supervisor Ridley-Thomas. "As a trailblazer, champion of racial equality in sports and a champion of parks, he will be missed by so many across Los Angeles County."
L.A. Councilor Herb J. Wesson: Wherever he went, Brad Pye broke barriers and opened doors for those who came after him. It is never easy to lose a giant like Brad in our community, but he lived a life full of love and accomplishments and his legacy will live on for generations. I pray that his family will find peace in these difficult times. "Change roles!"
Larry Oats: “I have admired Mr. Brad Pye Jr. from far and wide for over 40 years. During my high school days in the late 1970s, my friends and I heard Brad talk about local and national sports on KGFJ radio. He interviewed top athletes, including my favorite Muhammad Ali. Every week we had the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper read what was going on in our community and find out who Brad was writing about.
“I also had the pleasure of knowing Brad personally because he was married to my cousin Eunice. During one of my visits to her home, I spoke to Brad about my aspirations to play football at UCLA. Shortly after this conversation, Brad mentioned me in one of his Sentinel articles and explained that UCLA was watching me. Less than two weeks later, UCLA football recruiter Billy Matthews came to Verbum Dei High School to talk to me about participating in their program. I played football at UCLA, which was one of the greatest experiences in my life. Thank you Brad for your positive influence and help in my life. "
Leroy Vaughn, M.D .: Brad has driven thousands of people's lives up during his years in Los Angeles. In 1943, at the age of 12, he persuaded a person to go to Los Angeles to allow him to ride for $ 5. His loving mother directed him to friends and joined him six years later. Brad turned this non-air conditioned trip into a great career.
For over 50 years, Brad used his leverage and insider leverage to overcome racial barriers in all major sports like soccer, baseball, boxing, and athletics. Brad also worked tirelessly to promote the “first” black people. Brad and others, such as Wendell Smith from the Pittsburgh Courier newspaper, also helped promote acceptance of major league baseball stars such as Sam Lacey and Jackie Robinson, who became his closest friend.
The great career of Brad Pye Jr. also touched the lives of numerous non-athletes. The late lawyer Johnnie Cochran thanked Brad for 30 years of friendship and promotion long before the national media "discovered" him. When I told Brad that I was having trouble establishing my private practice as the only black retina specialist on the West Coast, he told me not to worry. He then published my resume in the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper and appointed me State Boxing Commission and State Athletic Commission. I appreciate our 30-year friendship.