Sportsman Grill

a Freedom Ride destination

The Sportsman Grill was a restaurant targeted by CORE Freedom Riders in 1961

The Sportsman Grill was listed on the CORE brochure used as guide for Freedom Riders for the 1961 Route 40 Freedom Ride. The Aberdeen restaurant was on the list of "Restaurants Still Segregated." This meant that the owners had either agreed to desegregate earlier that year and went back on that agreemen or had never agreed and decided to face the CORE pressure.

A Baltimore Afro-American article about the December 16, 1961 Freedom Ride included a picture of a small group of white Freedom Riders on Rt. 40 heading to the Sportsman Grill to protest its racist practices. They held signs that read "Let's End Racism in America Now," "Let's Have Dinner Together," and "Let's Desegregate the Whole Free State." As white people, they would not have been denied service due to their race. However, they reflected the multi-racial nature of the movement  although the CORE leadership, majority of Freedom Riders, and those arrested that day were African American. 

In 2021 (at the time of this writing), the Sportsman building still stood but was a restaurant called Ray's Carribean American Food.



1436 South Philadelphia Boulevard, Aberdeen, Maryland 21001 ~ The Sportsman Grill building is now called Ray's Caribbean American Food. It is located on the left side of Rt. 40 in Aberdeen heading east just after Spesutia Road.