Philadelphia Leaders React to Marcus Dupree Documentary on ESPN

By: Rachel Alig Email
By: Rachel Alig Email

A new film aired Tuesday that is once again putting the spotlight on the city of Philadelphia and its past. That film is ESPN's 'The Best That Never Was'. It's the story of former Philadelphia High School running back, Marcus Dupree. The film follows Dupree from his high school days in Philadelphia, through his tumultuous college and professional career, to his life today after football.

The film also talks about Dupree's friendship with Cecil Price Junior, the son of one of the men originally convicted in the deaths of three civil rights workers in Neshoba County in the 60's. The city of Philadelphia watched on as one of their own was highlighted on national TV.

"A beautiful story."

That's Philadelphia Mayor James Young, reflecting on the ESPN documentary telling the life of Marcus Dupree. Dupree, a Philadelphia-native played two years of NFL football with the Los Angeles Rams. But that was a different time. According to Mayor Young, Dupree has changed over the years.

"Right now, determined. Back then, I guess you could say, he was like an explorer," remembers Mayor Young.

Mayor Young describes the film as fascinating, but he says there's much more to it than just the entertainment aspect. He says the overall message of the film is much more powerful.

"I think also that it is a story of trust; don't blindly trust anybody with your life or your livelihood. I think that's another good point this documentary showed," says Mayor Young.

Dupree, known as the Philly Flash, is one of the best known high school athletes from Mississippi. Watching a highlight of his athletic career on ESPN was unforgettable.

"I can't even put it in words. When they came to me about the film, I was all for it," exclaims Dupree.

And many residents and leaders in Philadelphia feel just as proud as Dupree does.

"It's a special city. It's one of a kind. And for this story to arise out of our city again just puts that distinction on Philadelphia," describes Mayor Young.


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