I never realized what an awesome role model Rosey Grier was to kids (and grown men who enjoy needlepoint) in the 1970s. I mean, how many former NFL players do you know of who wrote books on needlepoint and sang songs like “It’s Alright To Cry”? None probably.
More than anything, Grier was showing that it was okay for young males to be in touch with their softer side and that there was nothin’ shameful about expressing emotions like crying. What a stellar message to get across, especially in the early 1970s when I’d imagine it was a lot tougher for even a former NFL tackle to get that message out without laughter and ridicule.
Rosey Grier is 80 years old now, and an ordained minster who keeps up a brisk pace of public service. He is the last surviving member of the Fearsome Foursome. As a bodyguard for Ethyl Kennedy during the 1968 presidential primaries, when RFK was assassinated, it was Rosey Grier who took control of the gun and subdued, Sirhan Sirhan. Let’s also not forget his co-starring role in 1972’s The Thing With Two Heads (Ray Milland plays a rich white racist who has his head transplanted onto the body of a death-row inmate played by Grier.)
Below, Rosey Grier sings “It’s Alright to Cry” on a children’s TV show in 1974:
Rosey’s needlepoint PSA for the US Department of Labor:
Needlepoint-themed commercial for Miller Liter from 1975: