Allen Park -- Former Detroit Lions running back Wally Triplett passed away on Thursday. He was 92. 

Triplett holds the distinction of being the first African-American player to be drafted and play for an NFL team.

"Wally is one of the true trailblazers in American sports history," the Lions wrote in a statement. "He resides among the great men who helped reshape the game as they faced the challenges of segregation and discrimination.

“His contributions date back to his days at Penn State as the Nittany Lions’ first African-American starter and varsity letter-winner, highlighted by his appearance in the first integrated Cotton Bowl."

Triplett was drafted in the 19th round of the 1949 draft, No. 192 overall. He played two seasons for the Lions before he was drafted into the U.S. Army. After serving two years in the Korean War, he returned to finish his NFL career with the Chicago Cardinals. 

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