The poster's design is based on a statue honoring the four UK players who integrated the SEC in the late 1960s -- Nate Northington, Greg Page, Wilbur Hackett and Houston Hogg. The statue will be located in front of the Wildcats' new practice facility, currently under construction adjacent to Commonwealth Stadium. It will be unveiled on Thursday, Sept. 22.
The 2016 season marks 50 years since Northington and Page enrolled at UK in 1966.
According to UK Media Relations, Northington and Hackett were in attendance as the poster was unveiled at a team meeting last Thursday, getting a standing ovation from the current players when they were introduced. Both groundbreaking players addressed the team and shared their perspective as two of the first African-American SEC football players.
“When you watch the game today and you come here and look and see the diversity, I never would have thought this would happen at UK or much less the SEC,” Northington told the team. “We’re very, very proud we were able to do that for the state, for ourselves, for our family. We’re very proud of you all, very proud of this university because you are part of history. You are part of the university that made a stand and made a difference in the culture of the state, the South and the country.
“We just believed it was time that Kentucky made a stand,” Northington added. “So ‘Make a Stand’ is very, very unique and correct because we did make a stand. We felt like it was the right thing to do. The time was right.”
Hackett encouraged the current UK team to carry on that legacy.
“You have an opportunity change history, to make history, change what Kentucky is doing in football,” said Hackett, the first African-American team captain in any SEC sport. “I’m so glad, I’m so proud to be a part of this. Fifty years ago we came here. And this year I want to see you guys make a difference. Make that commitment to change what is happening. Make this team be the team that changed the course of Kentucky football.”
The poster will be available to the public on Saturday, July 16. It will be available for free through UK Athletics partner Kroger while supplies last. Fans can also pick one up at the Joe Craft Welcome Center on UK's campus beginning Monday, July 18.