The Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs quarterbacks, Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes: Two Black Players in a One-Day Game
Instead, he said, he was rooting for two players: Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes, the starting quarterbacks of the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, respectively — both of whom, like Williams, are Black.
Earlier in the day, Eagles quarterback Hurts passed Cam Newton for the most rushing touchdowns in a single season by a quarterback as he guided his team past the San Francisco 49ers, 31-7.
“You work really hard to put yourself in this position and I’m forever grateful. There is only God who knows what each individual on the team has gone through in order for them to come together as a group.
That is what means the most. I always want to go out there and give my best regardless of what’s going on because I don’t want to let down the guy next to me.”
First came Philadelphia, which cruised to victory over the San Francisco 49ers. “I sat there patiently after Jalen and the Eagles had won that game,” Williams said.
Then came the Chiefs game — a tense back-and-forth against the Cincinnati Bengals that came down to a Kansas City field goal in the final seconds to win 23-20.
The Long History of Black QBs: From the Broncos to the Probable Colts. Jalen Moon and the Eagles and Chiefs
Williams said in an interview with NPR’s All Things Considered that he got a little emotion when the ball went through the uprights. I had eyes filled with water and there wasn’t tears running.
There was a Black player in the Super Bowl era who started a game at quarterback. The Denver Broncos wanted to convert him to cornerback, but soon the team’s white quarterback was injured and the white backup played poorly, forcing the Broncos to give Briscoe a chance.
Yet even as Black players joined teams in growing numbers, team owners and managers continued to discriminate against them — especially in so-called “thinking positions” like center, middle linebacker and quarterback.
And speaking to media this week, both acknowledged the long history of Black quarterbacks who fought to pave the way for their opportunity this weekend.
“It’s historic,” said Mahomes. It is going to be a wonderful moment when we play with a guy like Jalen who I know is doing it the right way, and I hope this will stay with us forever.
White players dominated those leadership positions, he said, while Black players were relegated to positions that were thought to be more physical than intellectual, like running back, cornerback and wide receiver.
He led the University of Washington to a Rose Bowl victory in 1978, but no team showed any interest in him. Instead, Moon spent six years in the Canadian Football League, where he won five straight championships. After making the switch to the NFL, Moon was named to the Pro Bowl nine times.
“I’m proud to see the first 2 African American quarterback’s to face each other in the Super Bowl, because I believe they will be great,” Moon wrote last week when the Eagles and Chiefs advanced to the Super Bowl. “We have come a long way.”
Williams was only looked at by an NBA coach before he graduated college. He was the cheapest starting quarterback in the league. Despite his Super Bowl heroics, his career ended soon after.
“At least I was given the opportunity and was able to do something with it,” said Williams, who is now a senior adviser to the president of the Washington Commanders. It’s a sad situation. But we take the sweet at this particular time.”
“From there, you start to see that these guys can play, and they are here and they can do it.” If they can help us win, then we need to do that.
Credit for big wins was given to other players while blame for losses came easily. When a Black quarterback succeeded, white commentators speculated about whether the praise had been inflated due to a desire for good publicity.
Patrick Mahomes: From his first Superbowl appearance to the Philadelphia Eagles, where he played professionally in the Carolinas (with permission from Richardson)
In 2015, The Charlotte Observer reported that Jerry Richardson, the 75-year-old owner of the Carolina Carolinas, was proud to say that he had inquired about CamNewton’s tattoos and piercings.
These days, there’s no disputing the talent of Patrick Mahomes, the 27-year-old who is on the precipice of his third Super Bowl appearance and second MVP award in just five years in the starting job. His highlights have changed the possibilities for quarterback play in the NFL.
The Philadelphia Eagles, arguably the league’s mosttalented team, have been through the playoffs and have a chance to win their first Superbowl in franchise history.
It’s similar to having Michael Jordan out there. He’s your leader,” said Eagles coach Nick Sirianni after the team’s first playoff game last month. “This guy leads. He is the calmst member of the team. He plays great football. As they come, he’s tough.
The NFL Network’s chief national reporter Steve Wyche: It’s hard to be different with Venus and Serena in the NFL
There is still progress left to achieve for Black men in the NFL, said Doug Williams, especially on the sidelines, where coaching staffs have been slower to diversify than rosters.
Destinee Adams and Phil Harrell produced and edited the audio interview with Jason Reid. Gabe O’Connor and Patrick Jarenwattananon produced and edited the audio interview with Doug Williams.
The NFL Network’s Chief National Reporter Steve Wyche says that this is important for people like black people and women who haven’t had enough representation in the management ranks of the league.
Both of them have had similar careers, with both having played for just one team and both having already won the Super Bowl with their current teams.
However, the siblings will not play on the same side of the ball in the same game as they do on offense, but they will still be competitive.
These guys are clearly very tight, it is kind of great to see that. They do a podcast together, they went to the same university to play before getting to the NFL,” Wyche explained.
“You know, their teams will be squaring up against each other, they won’t be going head to head, but to some degree, this is like Venus and Serena Williams playing against each other,” he added.
“This might be his last game he ever plays, because of his age, he’s contemplating retirement before, to play against his brother in the ultimate game going in has to feel special.
“A month from now, they’ll be telling jokes about everything else. But in the immediate aftermath, there’s going to be a mixed bag of emotions,” he added.
Jason and Travis, the two men in the firsts: Their encounter at the Lombardi Bowl and their encounter with Donna in the Super Bowl
Jason and Travis’ encounter won’t just put the men in the firsts category – their mom, Donna will officially become the first mother to have two sons play against each other in the Super Bowl, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“They’ve already got the first win under their belts, so this is just going to be pure joy. We’re going to really enjoy this, have a great time,” she told the Today Show.
“Obviously, there’s going to be somebody that’s going to go home heartbroken. They won’t have the bragging rights at the Thanksgiving table, but this is going to be an awesome event and I’m really looking forward to it.”
His wife, Kylie, is pregnant – and will be 38 weeks pregnant at the game, he said on his podcast, adding that her doctor will be traveling with her to the game, just in case.
However, having a baby on the day of the Super Bowl would not be a first. Last year, while celebrating winning the Lombardi trophy on the field, Los Angeles Rams’ wide receiver Van Jefferson found out his wife was in labor.
“I was just overcome with so much joy, from just winning the Super Bowl, to finding out my wife was going to have our son,” he told CNN at the time, adding that his wife attended as much of the game as possible until leaving “until she couldn’t anymore.”
What a great game they had in Philadelphia, and how they’ve gotten their hands into the Super Bowl, and what we’ve learned from them
“The Philadelphia Eagles spent this offseason gathering all of these really good players through trade and free agency. Whereas the Chiefs, they got rid of a couple of their best players in Tyrann Mathieu and Tyreek Hill and replaced them with young players who got their team back to a Super Bowl. It’s just going to be such a fantastic game.”