Charles Follis

Charles Follis

The Black Cyclone

First Black professional American football player.

Client Since 2021.

Charles W. Follis, a.k.a. “The Black Cyclone,” was the first Black professional American football player. He played for the Shelby Blues of the “Ohio League” from 1902 to 1906. On September 16, 1904, Follis signed a contract with Shelby making him the first Black man contracted to play professional football on an integrated team. He was also the first Black catcher to move from college baseball into the Negro leagues.