Was one of Cleveland's best running backs who excelled on draw plays and screen passes. He also was the second African American player to be voted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame. The late Earle Brown, who was a very good friend of Motley, was a major facilitator of his golf tournament right up to the year he died. Brown was a former Globetrotter and served as president of the American Center for Dispute Settlement and established one of the first "Arbitration as an Alternative" programs in the United States in East Cleveland Proceeds from the golf tournaments will go to the Marion Motley Scholarship Fund which awards scholarships to students from the Greater Cleveland area attending institutes of higher learning.
Most football fans remember Marion Motley for bringing power football to Cleveland, which was later carried on by Jim Brown. He was the top NFL rusher in 1950. He caught 85 passes, scored 234 points in nine years. He was one of the National Football League's first black players of the modern era and one of its best fullbacks ever.
As told by the great Sean Lahman in The Pro Football Historical Abstract, Motley's NFL numbers simply don't tell the story. There are two good reasons for that. First, Motley spent nearly five years after college serving in the U.S. Navy, costing him most of his prime football years. The second problem is that when he did turn pro, he started his career in the AAFC, a league that didn't have much competitive balance. Motley was an unstoppable avalanche, completely overwhelming opposing defenses. He averaged 6.2 yards per carry and helped the Cleveland Browns compile a 47-4-3 record and win all four AAFC Championships. Motley led the NFL in rushing yards in 1950, his (and the Browns') first year in the league. He was already thirty by this time, and injuries were beginning to take their toll."
In 1948, he led the Browns to a perfect 15-0 record and rushed 14 times for 133 yards and 3 scores in the championship game. Motley would blast from the inside yet he had the speed to go outside. He made most of his yardage on trap plays, on which a defensive lineman was allowed to penetrate the line of scrimmage, then was trapped, this allowed Motley to run through the vacated area. Motley was quotes as saying ''The trap was a fantastic play, but I was seldom sent outside. There's no telling how much yardage I might have made if I ran as much as some backs do now.''
Motley retired before the 1954 season due to suffering many injuries. But after a year off he returned and played in 1955 with the Steelers. He had to retire again after a few games due to more injuries. After retiring he scouted players for the Browns, and he wanted to coach. At the time, racism frequently prevented minorities from obtaining coaching jobs and he was turned down on most offers.
I can remember the time I spent with my uncle just like yesterday, my sister and I would spend our summers in Canton Ohio with him and my great aunt Iona Shephard. The many memories that I hold dear to my heart will never be forgotten. His House still Stands today and is still owned by our family.. Ro!
Championship to Hall of Fame. Marion was part of the 1948 football Champions! Which with many other accolades ultimately helped him become enshrined in Canton Ohio in 1968 as a member of The Football Hall of Fame.hampionship to Hall of Fame. Marion was part of the 1948 football Champions! Which with many other accolades ultimately helped him become enshrined in Canton Ohio in 1968 as a member of The Football Hall of Fame.