Actor Posts Video From Set Of Controversial ‘Black Spartans’ Movie
Neal McDonough posted videos from the set of a movie called 'Black Spartans', about the 1966 National Champion Michigan State football team.
'Black Spartans' Is About The Legacy Of MSU Coach Duffy Daugherty
Daugherty won back-to-back Big Ten titles in 1965 and 1966, mostly by being a groundbreaker and recruiting black athletes from the south, forming one of the nation's first fully integrated college football squads.
Those Spartan teams featured four first round NFL draft picks (all of them Black), and was considered on of the best defenses in college football history.
Neal McDonough portrays Daugherty in the film, which is currently filming in Atlanta, and this week he posted some behind the scenes footage from the set of 'Black Spartans' to his TikTok account.
Let me just say from the beginning, that, no offense to Neal, but Duffy Daugherty was kind of a schlubby dude. That was actually part of his appeal, and to see a buff dude playing him in the movie, is, well, disappointing.
But he biggest disappointment comes in this next video, where you see one of the actors portraying a Michigan State player.
Whoops, that uniform is more than a little off, dude. The 1966 Michigan State team wore jerseys with no stripes, and had the iconic lettering of 'Michigan State' across the front.
Is that it that hard to do a little research?
Well, let's get to the rest of the story.
The Film Is NOT Endorsed By MSU
The University has made it very clear that they have not endorsed the movie 'Black Spartans' after several of the players depicted in the film say the movie plays fast and loose with the facts.
An attorney, Devin McRae, who represents several of the black players depicted in the film, including quarterback Jimmy Raye, issued the following statement in September before filming of 'Black Spartans' began.
“Based upon the three versions of the full script that have now been shared with the players and their families, the defamatory content is overwhelming, not only harmful and offensive to the individuals and the University as an institution, but also harmful to the Country’s interest in an accurate and truthful retelling of these significant cultural and racial historical events.
The person ultimately behind this project is a hedge fund manager who was recently indicted for obstruction of justice and falsifying documents and faces a criminal trial on those charges in the Southern District of New York in November. The players and their families will fight his exploitative assertion of rights in, and falsification of, their life stories.”
MSU has since reiterated that it does not endorse or support the film.
The Uniforms Are WAY Off
That may explain why the uniforms do not resemble those of MSU in that era, in fact, even the opposition uniforms for the UCLA team are off.
Check out this still from the movie set.
As you can see from this photo from the actual 1966 Rose Bowl, UCLA wore sky blue and grey at the time, and had not incorporated yellow into their home uniforms until the 1970s.
While MSU in 1966 clearly had lettering across the front of their uniforms. As you can see from this shot from the 1966 Notre Dame game.
This may be a bit of nitpicking, but it is also indicative of a movie that didn't have permission to use NCAA trademarked uniforms, because it wasn't given the okay by MSU.
Several Films Already Exist About The 1965-66 Spartans And Their Groundbreaking Team
'Men of Sparta', a documentary put together by a player on those teams, Bob Apisa, was released in 2016, while Maya Washington's (daughter of 1966 graduate Gene Washington) 'Through The Banks Of The Red Cedar', aired on PBS in 2018.
You can check out the trailers for both those films below:
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