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When Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts face off in the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 12, they will make history as the first Black starting quarterback duo fighting for the championship in NFL history.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks are very aware of the history being made and their roles as inspirations to the next generation.
“The guys that came before me and Jalen set the stage for this, and now I’m just glad we can set the stage for kids that are coming up now,” Mahomes told reporters during the press week before the Super Bowl. “It’ll be a great game against two great teams and against another great quarterback. I’m excited to go out there and do what we can against a great team.”
The NFL tried honoring Black quarterbacks last week with a tweet including photos of past Black Super Bowl quarterbacks, but left off recent notable quarterbacks like Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton.
Fans quickly pointed out the absence of Newton and Kaepernick in the replies, and even Hurts mentioned Newton’s role in paving the way for his current success.
First Black quarterback duo in NFL Super Bowl
The Eagles have a proud legacy of some of the best Black quarterbacks in NFL history, and Hurts is the next one up. Over 30 years ago Doug Williams made history by becoming the first Black quarterback to start in and win a Super Bowl. Randall Cunningham, Michael Vick, and Donovan McNabb are other notable Eagles quarterbacks who have paved the way for Hurts in Philly.
“I think it’s something that’s worthy of being noted, and it is history. It’s come a long way. I think it’s only been seven African-American quarterbacks to play in the Super Bowl, so to be the first for something is pretty cool,” Hurts told reporters. “I know it will be a good one.”
At a time when the NFL is trying to improve their image regarding race, having two of their best quarterbacks as young Black men be the face of the league will definitely help.