Ben Cohen


Cutcliffe Recalls Tension From Past

As a child, David Cutcliffe’s love of football was pure. By the time he reached Banks High School, though, the football field no longer just housed a conflict between two teams. This was Birmingham in the 1960s, and Cutcliffe’s hometown was torn by racial tension.

Cutcliffe found himself caught in a conflict that predated him, outlives him and, eventually, helped shape him as a football coach.

“When you grow up in the most segregated city in the South, you’ve got to take sides one way or the other,” said Paige Cutcliffe, David Cutcliffe’s brother. “Our family took sides that it’s wrong, and we’ve been fighting that battle ever since.”

Fifty years later, David Cutcliffe’s squad-and the head coach himself-might be fundamentally different if he hadn’t lived through what his brother called an “apartheid city.”



Filed under: Profiles

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