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Iowa State’s Jack Trice’s fatal on-field college football trampling

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In February for Black History Month, USA TODAY Sports is publishing the series “28 Black Stories in 28 Days.” We examine the issues, challenges and opportunities Black athletes and sports officials continue to face after the nation’s reckoning on race following the murder of George Floyd in 2020. This is the third installment of the series.

Alone inside a hotel room, segregated from his Iowa State football teammates, Jack Trice ate dinner in silence the night before the Minnesota game. As his teammates talked and laughed and plotted on-field strategy in rooms he wasn’t allowed to be in, Trice took out a pen and crafted a letter on the Curtis Hotel stationery.

The words are eerie to read nearly 100 years after Trice wrote them in cursive, black ink, filling nearly two pages. The words were almost a foreshadowing, a devastating preview, of what would happen on the football field the next day.

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