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Cardinals’ Bethea named first Black College Football Pro Player of the Year

Arizona Cardinals strong safety Antoine Bethea (41) runs back an interception as San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) and ffensive guard Laken Tomlinson (75) pursue during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Cardinals safety Antoine Bethea has already won a Super Bowl ring in his career. On Wednesday, he entered a class of his own.

Bethea was named the inaugural recipient of the Black College Football Pro Player of the Year Award. This will be an annual award given to the top professional football player who attended a Historically Black College and University.

“Today, there are about 30 players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities on active NFL rosters. Some of the best players in NFL history are from HBCUs, and it’s exciting to honor today’s stars,” said NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith in a press release.

In his first season with the Cardinals, the 12th-year man out of Howard University posted a career-high five interceptions to go along with 57 tackles. Arizona picked up Bethea’s $1 million roster bonus on Wednesday to retain him through the 2018 season.

The award will be formally presented to Bethea on Feb. 10 at the Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

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