The history of Black quarterbacks in the NFL has been a long, strenuous journey filled with overcoming odds and breaking barriers, and this year is no different.
When the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII, it will be for the first time in NFL history that two Black quarterbacks will start for their respective teams in the biggest football game of the year.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, Jalen Hurts, led his team to some deciding victories over the Giants, and the 49ers respectfully, catapulting him into stardom as the Eagles return to the Super Bowl for the second time in five years. Like many former Black quarterbacks in the league, Hurts has silenced pundits who criticized his throwing abilities, claiming he couldn’t throw to the standard of an elite NFL quarterback, a narrative that always seems to follow the athletic Black quarterback for some strange reason. Hurts will try to become the fourth Black quarterback in NFL history to win a Super Bowl, joining Doug Williams, Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes already has a championship under his belt and will look to become the only Black quarterback with multiple Super Bowl wins. Mahomes was also the youngest quarterback to ever win the NFL championship game. Even on a bum ankle, Mahomes was able to lead the Chiefs to a 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC championship. Mahomes won the game with a scramble play that led to a game-winning field goal.
Black quarterbacks in the Super Bowl
In 1988, Doug Williams led the Washington Redskins (now Washington Commanders) to a Super Bowl victory, making him the first Black Quarterback in a Super Bowl. After Williams, there was a 26-year drought of Black QBs winning the game. Steve McNair, Donovan McNabb, Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton all made it to the Super Bowl during that period but unfortunately lost. In 2014, Russell Wilson would break that streak, leading the Seahawks to their first-ever Super Bowl win. In 2020, Mahomes joined the Black QB Super Bowl club with a victory over the 49ers. He would return a leader later only to lose to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Whether Jalen Hurts wins his first Super Bowl, or Pat Mahomes goes for two, the future of the Black quarterback in the NFL is in good hands for years to come. Hopefully, their success opens the door for young Black quarterbacks who see a Super Bowl in their dreams.
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