Quarterback’s emotional retirement announcement following a series of concussions

Tolbert is in line for a larger role this season after working as the Cowboys’ No. 4 WR in 2023, David Moore of The Dallas Morning News reports After playing just 89 snaps on offense as a rookie, the 2022 third-round pick got a lot more playing time (477 snaps) in his second season, essentially splitting the No. 3 receiver role with Michael Gallup for much of the year. Gallup is now in Las Vegas and hasn’t been replaced by a similar veteran or early draft pick, leaving Tolbert as the likely third WR behind entrenched starters CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks. While the role won’t necessarily entail a large quantity of targets, Tolbert at least would be positioned for a degree of fantasy value if Lamb were to miss any time with an injury.

As a child growing up in Kansas City, Ivan McClellan would sing the national anthem at the American Royal rodeo with a youth choir. Those performances are some of his fondest memories, but they’re also bittersweet.

That’s because just about everybody else around him was white.

“It wasn’t a place that we felt like we belonged,” McClellan told Morning Edition host A Martínez.

Learning about Black rodeos as an adult came as a revelation to him. McClellan spent nearly a decade documenting this unique culture all across the United States.

His forthcoming photobook, Eight Seconds: Black Rodeo Culture, out April 30 from publisher Damiani Books, features highlights from that journey. The title refers to the minimum amount of time a rider has to stay on a horse or other livestock in order to register a score during a competition.

“All of this beauty and energy and environment just stuck to me,” McClellan said about his first encounter with a Black rodeo. “I saw thousands of Black cowboys and they were doing the Cupid Shuffle in the desert and they were cooking turkey legs. And there were Black folks dressed like traditional cowboys. There were also black folks riding their horses in Jordans and women riding with their braids blowing behind them and their hands with long acrylic nails clutching the reins.”

That event, the Roy Leblanc Invitational Rodeo in Oklahoma, is one McClellan has come to dub “the Super Bowl of Black rodeos.” It is the oldest of its kind in the country.

He began posting his photographs of the event online. As his social media audience grew, McClellan was soon traveling the country in search of similar happenings.

“There are Black cowboys pretty much everywhere. I mean, there are Black cowboys here in Portland, Ore., where I live, which I think is the last place that I would have expected to find them,” said McClellan, who now runs his own rodeo.

“I went all the way to Oklahoma to realize that there were cowboys up the road from me who have been there for four generations … You’d be hard pressed to find a part of America where there wasn’t at least some portion of this

It’s a narrative largely shunned by Hollywood and the broader mass culture, where the cowboy is consistently portrayed as a white male, be it John Wayne, Val Kilmer or on TV series like Bonanza (1959-73) and Gunsmoke (1955-75).

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