The Indianapolis Colts’ John Gill, whose father Ajit was born in India, believes he might be the first player of Indian descent to participate in the Super Bowl. (Via Ultrabrown’s invaluable Twitter feed.) The 23-year-old Gill is the team’s reserve defensive tackle.
When Gill was still playing for Northwestern, the Chicago Tribune called him a “Football rarity” because of his ethnicity and described this scene on the team bus after a game:
“Hey, that’s my grandpa!” defensive tackle John Gill shouted, pointing toward the sidewalk to an 86-year-old man wearing a powder-blue turban — and over it, a Northwestern visor.
The bus cracked up, and a surge of pride shot through Gill.
“Even though I have somewhat dark skin, a lot of people don’t believe me when I tell them I’m half-Indian — probably because I’m so big,” he said. “But once they see my grandpa with a turban on, it’s hard to deny it.”
Ajit Gill first became interest in college football as a graduate student in Nebraska, where he studied electrical engineering. (Of course.)
Update: Sepia Mutiny has more on Gill.