Players was the black Playboy, launched in 1974 and published by Holloway House Publishing in Los Angeles, who were known for their “black experience” book series by authors like Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines. Holloway was founded in 1959 by Ralph Weinstock and Bentley Morriss, who initially published a series of men’s magazines like Adam and Knight. After the Watts riots of 1965 the owners, who were white, changed the direction of the company to aim at the African American community. The longtime editor of Players was Joseph Nazel, who also wrote dozens of books for Holloway. More on Holloway House here. Players, whose tagline was “For He Who Is,” featured one of my favorite magazine logos of all time!
See a huge collection of vintage Players covers at Old Mags (where many of these images came from).