Alabama Football: Former Tider Levi Wallace with battles yet to win

(Photo by Bob Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Miller/Getty Images) /

Former Alabama football player, Levi Wallace had a life-changing experience in Montgomery.

Be advised this post is not about football. It is about a former Alabama football player and the new lessons he is learning. The player is Levi Randolph, starting cornerback for the Buffalo Bills.

Wallace was also a starting cornerback on an Alabama Football National Championship team. Three years ago, we profiled Wallace and his amazing rise from walk-on to Alabama football starter. Levi was an unrated high school player, with no offers from any FBS or FCS school. Because of his father, he chose Alabama football as a place to walk-on.

After proving himself in Tuscaloosa, Wallace had to start at the bottom again. He was not drafted by any NFL team. He had a few, undrafted free-agent options and chose the Buffalo Bills. Levi beat the odds again becoming an NFL starting cornerback.

But as we said up top, this post is not about football. It can be argued it is about something more important than football.

This summer, Levi Randolph made a return trip to Alabama. He was joined by former Crimson Tide players, Jamey Mosley, Josh Casher and his brother. The trip was organized and also attended by the Buffalo Bills Team Chaplain, Len Vanden Bos and his wife, Char. The destination was Montgomery, AL.

Levi learned some things about Alabama while he was in Tuscaloosa. Marcel Louis-Jacques, writing for ESPN shared one of Levi’s stories from Tuscaloosa.

While walking down a Tuscaloosa street, Levi encountered racial prejudice, though it was not directed at him personally.  He heard a “self-appointed Bouncer” define requirements for admission to a party location.

"I remember somebody yelled out, ‘If you’re darker than this bag, you can’t come in here unless you play football.’ That threw me for a loop. That’ll stick with me for the rest of my life — to put up a brown paper bag and say if you’re darker than this, you can’t come in here? And then go cheer for the same football team that’s made of 95% African Americans?"

The trip to Montgomery was to visit the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Speaking of his visit to the Memorial’s Museum, Levi said,

"‘The museum was powerful,” Wallace said. “The warehouse that they used was a warehouse they kept slaves in.’ … Wallace said he learned more during those three hours than he did in any course he took at Alabama."

The National Memorial project began with the Equal Justice Initiative, also located in Montgomery. It has a large display of 800 suspended columns.  Each column represents a U.S. county where a lynching of a black person occurred between 1877 and 1950. The large columns bear the names of more than 4,400 victims.

Levi Wallace and Len Vanden Bos plan to return. Next time they intend to bring the entire Buffalo Bills, football team. Levi also hopes the Alabama football staff will organize a visit for the Crimson Tide.

Next. Levi Wallace Crimson Tide Profile. dark

One more note for this story is Len and Char Vanden Bos are white. Some readers may find that noteworthy. Others may conclude confronting racial history should be color-blind.