Bill Nunn Jr. was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2021. When William “Bill” Nunn Jr. first started scouting for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1967 he was already a highly respected and experienced journalist for the Pittsburgh Courier. When he was first brought on by the Steelers the Rooney family already had endured decades of losing. But Nunn knew a secret that could change their fortunes. Nunn could identify football players no one else could see. He had developed his eye as a pioneering athlete, breaking down barriers for African-Americans in high school and college. Then as a journalist, he had become the first black sports writer allowed to sit in the press box at baseball’s Forbes Field.
The secret revealed itself as Nunn traveled the country each fall to find the best players at the nation’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Most often the National Football League never noticed these men. Nunn knew they could play if only given a chance. As a Steelers’ scout Nunn is instrumental in signing Mean” Joe Greene, L.C. Greenwood, and John Stallworth to name just a few.
The Color of Sundays is an IBPA Silver award winner.
“It would be hard to put into words what Bill Nunn meant to so many players, coaches, scouts and other members of the Steelers organization…I am extremely pleased that Andrew Conte has captured some of the stories about Bill Nunn, as well as the stories that Bill himself was fond of sharing with others.”
~ Art Rooney II
“By challenging convention and going where other scouts wouldn’t, Bill Nunn Jr. forever changed Pittsburgh’s Steelers and the National Football League.”
~ Rob Rossi, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“As a young reporter, I learned a lot of football from Bill Nunn Jr. His story, The Color of Sundays, is a must-read history lesson on how sports can overcome racism. Bill was ahead of his time in getting great players of color into the NFL.”
~ John Clayton, ESPN
About the Author
Andrew Conte is the founding director of the Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and has won multiple national and statewide awards for his work. The Pennsylvania Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Andrew three times with the Spotlight Award, its annual prize for investigative reporting, and the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania has given him its annual top reporting prize four times. He is the author of the best-selling book Breakaway: The Inside Story of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Rebirth and the Silver Benjamin Franklin Award-winning book, The Color of Sundays. Andrew is a graduate of Dickinson College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He lives near Pittsburgh.