The Fritz Pollard Alliance holds an annual award reception at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. On Thursday evening Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula were the recipients of the Tank Younger Award.
Given to persons who display outstanding work on and off the field in helping to level the playing field in the NFL, the Pegulas were fitting honorees in the wake of the contract extension for general manager Doug Whaley and the promotion of Kathryn Smith, the first full-time female NFL coach.
Though the Pegulas were unable to attend the ceremony, GM Doug Whaley accepted the award on behalf of the club's owners.
"The award for the Pegulas epitomizes what the Fritz Pollard Alliance is all about and it's that you hire the best person for the job regardless of race or gender," said Whaley. "That's what they foster, which is why this award comes as a tremendous honor to them."
The award is named after Paul "Tank" Younger, the first minority executive in the National Football League. Younger, who earned All-America honors at Grambling had a successful NFL career with the Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers earning Pro Bowl honors five times in the 1950's.
He also became the first African American player to play in an NFL All-Star game and went on to become the league's first minority assistant general manager and front office executive. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000.