Ernie Barnes Successful NFL Player & Accomplished Artist

Ernie Barnes is most known for his successful career as a professional football player who played for the Baltimore Colts from 1959 up to 1960. When he was only 22 years old, he was selected by the Washington Redskins who renounced their decision once they learned he was a Negro. Barnes always preferred to be called Ernest but that all changed after an interview with the sportswriter of the Baltimore News-Post, who then published an article, calling him Ernie. The new name remained, and he became Ernie Barnes from the date the article was published back in July 1960.

Professional Football Career

Once Baltimore released Ernie Barnes, he was immediately signed by the Titans for New York although left the team in October only two days after Howard Glenn died at the Jeppesen Stadium. Barnes joined the Los Angeles Chargers, and when he moved, he started playing for the San Diego Chargers.

During off-seasons, he loved working at the YMCA with the program director as well as the sports editor of The Voice newspaper, and he wrote for the weekly column that was called A Matter of Sports. His first ever television interview was in 1962 on KGTV on The Regis Philbin Show. After not seeing each other after that, they met up 45 years later at the New York City tribute to Ernie Barnes.

Ernie Barnes, the Painter

Barnes, the accomplished painter, started designing the covers for albums for some of the most famous artist once he ended his successful NFL career. Some of the artists he worked with included BB King and Marvin Gaye. It was clear that Barnes had great talent and as an American Artist, he became known for his unique style of movement and elongation.

One of his most famous painting is The Sack, which depicts the tackle of a quarterback with the crowd in the background and flames blending in with clouds of smoke. Other sports-related painting by Barnes includes Victory in Overtime which displays a hectic situation on the football field after the game is won. Headshot is an exceptionally bright painting depicting an ethnically diverse group of players enjoying a game of soccer while competing for the game.

Ernie Barnes Paintings

Some of his most renowned paintings include the electrifying club scene name, Sugar Shack. The painting offers a view into the club where the poster gives credit to artists like Marvin Gaye and everyone in the club is dancing and enjoying the live performance of the band. The Homecoming painting shows the crowd cheering as a band marches as part of the parade. The crowd is lined up next to the street, on the bridge and some just relaxed on the green grass along the way. Late Night DJ is yet another masterpiece by Ernie Barnes that is based on an African-American DG working late at night. The DB dressed in red speaks into the microphone and have a glass and bottle of wine to enjoy once the music starts.