Living Conditions

Advertisement for the Lore lane apartments in the February 4, 1961 issue of the Green Bay Press Gazette.

Upon hearing of the living conditions of several of his African-American players, Lombardi went to Packers President, Dominic Olejniczak, and made it clear that adequate housing needed to be provided for his players. Herb Adderley said in an interview, “He (Lombardi) said, look, if the black players are going to help this team win, the city needs to understand that these players need good places to live and they need to live in the city.1 During the 1961 NFL season, three of Lombardi’s African-American stars, Willie Davis, Herb Adderley, and Willie Wood were living in a one-room attachment to an extermination business that was being run by Tony Canadeo’s (Packers half-back) brother. Seeing that Willie Davis was the veteran between the three, Adderley and Wood were forced to flip a coin to see which one would sleep on the couch, and who would sleep on small cot. Adderley described the living conditions in some of Green Bay’s homeless shelters as being higher quality than the place he lived during his first season in Green Bay.2

Between 1960-62 there was a number of brand new apartment complexes that were built on Lore Lane. With the help of Lombardi’s advocacy, several of the African-American players that came to Green Bay were able to find housing in the Lore Lane apartments. This included, Lionel Aldridge, Bob Jeter, Marv Fleming, and Herb Adderley. An advertisement listed in the Green Bay Press Gazette described the apartments as being “completely furnished”, with “complete bedroom, and living room suites”, as well as a “dream kitchen”. Compared to the previous few years, the Lore lane apartments were a nice upgrade for the players struggling to find housing. There were a few African-American players who owned, or rented small houses close to Lambeau Field as well. Dave Robinson arrived in Green Bay in 1963, and was able to rent a house on South Jackson Street, not far from the stadium. Robinson encountered discrimination when trying to look for an apartment to rent. White land-owners were often times unwilling to rent to African-American players. This practice was perfectly legal until the Civil Rights Acts took effect by 1968. In 1964, Willie Wood and Herb Adderley shared a house located at 2159 Early Street. The following season, Adderley moved into the Lore Lane apartments, while Willie Wood rented a home on South Oneida Street. The housing difficulties faced by black players were to some degree alleviated  as the Packers continued to win championships. However, Dave Robinson has stated that it was through the efforts of organizations such as the NAACP in getting the Civil Rights, and Fair Housing Acts passed which truly made a difference when it came to finding equal housing opportunities. Understanding the conditions these men and their families had to deal with is crucial towards knowing Packer’s history.


  1. Richard Ryman, “Black players on Green Bay Packers’ 1960s championship teams
    lauded, but faced discrimination.” Green Bay Press Gazette (Green Bay, WI), August 6, 2018.
  2. “Delay of Game”, Neville Public Museum Exhibit, 2018