Kermit Alexander enjoyed a career as a defensive back playing in the NFL. Alexander played for three different teams throughout his career. During his time in the NFL, he was selected to play in a Pro Bowl.
Years after Alexander’s career, something happened that was very tragic in his family. Some of his family members were killed, and Alexander wanted to do everything in his power to find the killer.
Kermit Alexander’s time playing in the NFL
Alexander grew up in the projects of Los Angeles. Growing up, Alexander witnessed violence throughout his childhood. One thing that he enjoyed doing was playing football, and he was good at it. Football was a way for Alexander to get out of the troubled neighborhood in L.A. He went on to enjoy a successful college career at UCLA, where he was an All-American defensive back.
After his time in college, the San Francisco 49ers drafted Alexander in the first round of the 1963 NFL draft. When he joined the NFL, he played defensive back and was a kick and punt returner. In his first two seasons with the 49ers, he finished with five interceptions. During the 1969 season, Alexander had a breakout year. He finished with a career-high nine interceptions and was selected to play in his first and only Pro Bowl. Alexander spent his first seven seasons playing for the 49ers.
He stayed in California after playing with the 49ers and joined the L.A. Rams. In two seasons playing with the Rams, he had a total of seven interceptions. When Alexander joined the Rams, he did not live far from his family or his old neighborhood. He decided to give back to his community by sponsoring a Pop Warner football team called the Watts Wildcats. Alexander wanted to get kids off the street and get them into playing football. The defensive back finished his NFL career playing with the Philadelphia Eagles during the 1972 and 1973 season.
Kermit Alexander was a mentor and coach after his playing days were over
Alexander was heavily involved in the community when he finished playing. He donated to local youth organizations and local charity events. Alexander served as a coach and mentor for many years and wanted to do everything he could to help kids growing up in the projects have a better life.
He would take local kids to Rams football games during the season, and he served as a source for kids to come to talk to and answer any questions they may have. Alexander knew what it was like for the kids growing up in bad neighborhoods, and he wanted them to experience a better lifestyle. He tried to reach as many kids as he could, but some kids continued to participate in gang-related activity.
Kermit Alexander went out to the streets to find the person that killed his family
Alexander was a family man. He loved being around his family and taking care of them. On August 31, 1984, Alexander had plans of visiting his mother in South Central L.A., but something happened that day that turned Alexander’s world upside down. Alexander’s mother, sister, and two nephews were killed as a result of gang violence.
When Alexander found out that he lost four of his family members, he was filled with rage. He did not want to sit around a wait for the police to do their job, so he took it upon himself to find the killers. Alexander went out to the streets and asked around if people knew anything about what happened, and he even made threats to people. He was in a different mindset, and all he could think about was finding the killers. The police were able to find the men who were involved, and they found the gunman responsible for killing his family.
The gunman was convicted and sentenced to death. Alexander said that if he found them first, he would have killed them. Alexander was not the type to engage in violence, but when his family was involved, he was willing to do whatever it took.