John Lobon shares his experience as a member of the Syracuse 8, a group of Syracuse football players who stood up for student-athlete rights and against racial injustice. The players were ultimately suspended for the entire 1970 season but later vindicated in an investigative report ordered by the university.

John Lobon tells the story of his stellar high school football career in Hartford, Connecticut, his decision to attend Syracuse University, and his decision to join the Syracuse 8. He describes the defensive play he made that his teammates called, “The Defining Moment” of the team his freshman year, and brings us into the times of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The story of the Syracuse 8 illustrates how discrimination can occur in places one might not expect. John Lobon and his teammates rallied against discrimination and for better medical and academic support for all student-athletes. The young men paid a heavy cost to establish gains still enjoyed by student-athletes today.

The Game before the Money Podcast is released each Tuesday. The show is produced and hosted by Jackson Michael, author of The Game before the Money: Voices of the Men Who Built the NFL, published by the University of Nebraska Press. Learn more at

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