On Japanese-American Incarceration, Football, and WW II

In the spring of 1942, the U.S. government forced 120,000 Japanese Americans from their homes in the West and sent them to incarceration camps. Nearly 14,000 of them landed on the outskirts of Cody, Wyoming.

Behind barbed wire fences, they faced racism, cruelty, and frozen winters. In 1943, the camp’s high school football team, the Eagles, finished its first season undefeated, crushing the competition from predominantly white high schools. As the team’s second season kicked off, the young men faced a choice to either join the Army or resist the draft. Teammates were divided, and some were jailed for their decisions.

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