Slater isn't in the Hall of Fame, and Dan Daly of the Washington Times offered a good explanation for why he has been overlooked in a column earlier this year.
There are a number of reasons for this, none of them particularly acceptable. One is that Slater spent his career with second-tier teams such as the Chicago Cardinals, Rock Island (Ill.) Independents and Milwaukee Badgers, two of which no longer exist. (The Cardinals, of course, are in Arizona now.) To the winners go the Hall of Fame busts. Another is that Duke died in 1966 at 67 and didn't have any children, so there's no one to stump for him. Then there's the problem of playing a position -- tackle in the single-platoon days -- for which there are no statistics, only the occasional newspaper mention.
But the most obvious reason probably makes the most sense: Slater was a black man in a white man's world, plenty good enough to play but lacking the "necessities" for canonization (to borrow Al Campanis' infamous term). Indeed, the scant number of Hall of Famers from the '20s, coupled with Pollard's long-delayed election, make you wonder if the NFL is trying to forget that benighted era -- which was followed by an even more reprehensible period (1934-45) in which blacks were excluded entirely.