Much has been made of the historic nature of the matchup between quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts in Super Bowl LVII.
This marks the first Super Bowl where both starting quarterbacks are Black. Longtime football fans might find that hard to believe, given it has been 35 years since Doug Williams became the first Black quarterback to start — and win — a Super Bowl.
But two Black QBs have never faced each other in the big game, and Williams, for one, is overwhelmed at what is about to happen.
— NFL (@NFL) January 31, 2023
“I had tears of joy in my eye because I had an opportunity to witness this,” Williams told TMZ Sports. “Sit there, and just look at it, and say to myself, ‘Man, we got two Black quarterbacks playing in the Super Bowl.'”
Perhaps it’s a sign of progress that many fans aren’t even aware that the Mahomes-Hurts matchup is a first. Williams told TMZ it makes him feel the way he did after Barack Obama‘s 2008 election as the first Black President of the United States.
Since Williams’ big day in 1988, only two other Black quarterbacks have won a Super Bowl. Mahomes in 2020 in Super Bowl LIV and Russell Wilson (Super Bowl XLVIII, 2014).
No matter the outcome in this Super Bowl, there will be another Black quarterback joining that list.
“I feel like I’ve already won,” Williams told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Just to see two Black quarterbacks playing a game to me, is enough for me.”
Still, Williams feels Blacks need to make more progress in the quarterback ranks, not to mention in NFL coaching.
“You look at it this season, there were 11 [Black] starting quarterbacks in the National Football League,” Williams told The Inquirer. “I think that’s progress in a way but we got a long ways to go, it ain’t progress enough because you got these quarterbacks but you don’t have the Black coaches.”