KANSAS CITY, MO — With Super Bowl LIV less than two weeks away, perhaps the NFL’s brightest star and future face of the league in Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has an opportunity to officially usher in the era of the black quarterback. Hard to believe that its been over 25 years since Doug Williams became the first African-American quarterback to start in–and win a Super Bowl XXII in a 42-10 romp over John Elway and the Denver Broncos.
Somewhere the late Dr. Martin Luther King is smiling down on the NFL–in its 100th year–in seeing that many of it’s top quarterbacks in DeShaun Watson, projected 2019-20 NFL MVP in Lamar Jackson and Dak Prescott all emerging to create a new modern-day ear of mobile, athletic and dual-threat back quarterbacks. If Mahomes is somehow able to solve the riddle that is Robert Saleh’s ferocious Niners defense–that has four first rounders–then Mahomes would join Williams and Russell Wilson in becoming the third black QB to hoist the Vince Lombardi.
Yes, there have been other notable black quarterbacks such as Warren Moon, Steve McNair, Randall Cunningham, Michael Vick and Cam Newton that have helped take the NFL to unseen levels of athleticism and talent under center, and while McNabb, McNair and Newton would make it to the Super Bowl, they could never quite close the deal.
For the longest time, the NFL quarterback has often been seen as the last remaining bastion of white privilege, the last stand of white America hoping to cling to its so called birthright, rotted in the old Jim Crow-fueled ignorance that black could never play the position as well as whites.
In a league that is roughly 75 percent African-American, its a tragedy that there are so few black quarterbacks and even fewer ones that have won Super Bowls.
Counting the fore mentioned Williams–and the modern-day trail blazer of black Super Bowl quarterbacks in Pittsburgh Steelers backup Joe Gilliam–there have only been TWO brothers with rings!
Somehow, it feels like the stars have aligned to enable Mahomes to become the third. While Jackson stoke a lot of headlines in Baltimore this season, and rightfully so, Mahomes is a far superior passer than Jackson, and has such a unique throwing style that enables him to attack all levels of the field with accuracy and strength.
They say that Mahomes has a special kind of magic, and if he hopes to elude the Niners relentless defense down in Miami, he will need to channel his inner Houdini.
Somehow, it just seems like Mahomes has enough tricks to do so, and be the one that finally blazes a new and overdue trail of black quarterbacks dominating in the NFL–and future Super Bowls–for years to come.