BHM: Super Bowl quarterbacks to make history for the NFL


Although this year’s Super Bowl game has yet to happen, the two starting quarterbacks for both teams have already made history. Photo courtesy of Bleeding Green Nation

Morgan Schmidt

As the professional football season comes to a close with only the biggest game of the year left to play, the quarterbacks on this year’s Super Bowl teams are to make history. 

The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs are to face off Sunday, February 12. They have already made history regardless of the fact that the four quarters are still unplayed and a champion is yet to be crowned. Quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs) and Jalen Hurts (Philadelphia Eagles) are the first matchup of two black quarterbacks in the Super Bowl ever. 

Patrick Mahomes played at Texas Tech University before his pro career and was the 10th overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft by the Chiefs. This is currently his sixth year in the NFL. Jalen Hurts was the 53rd overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, currently completing his third season with the Eagles. 

Even though the NFL lifted the ban on African Americans playing within the league in 1946, the quarterback position continued to be segregated for many more years from individual teams, blocking the ability to play. The first black quarterback to start a NFL game was Marlin Briscoe in 1968 for the Denver Broncos, which was over 20 years after they lifted the ban on their participation at all. 

Still to this day only 7 black quarterbacks have played in the Super Bowl; Doug Williams (XXII), Steve McNair (XXXIV), Donovan McNabb (XXXIX), Colin Kaepernick (XLVII), Russell Wilson (XLVIII and XLIX), Cam Newton (L) and Patrick Mahomes (LIV and LV). 

Just recently in 2017 all 32 NFL teams had once started a black quarterback. Now it is 2023 and a Super Bowl will start two black quarterbacks after 54 years since the first black quarterback started an NFL game. 

This is a huge milestone for the organization but there is also another achievement that this year’s quarterbacks will bring, they are also the youngest matchup of quarterbacks ever in a Super Bowl. Mahomes is 27 and Hurts is 24. Although Brett Favre (27) and Drew Bledsoe (24) faced off during Super Bowl XXXI, this year’s quarterbacks are just months younger than those two quarterbacks were at the time. 

After black quarterbacks began to make their mark within the sport, many more aspired to play the position. 

“The guys that came before me and Jalen set the stage for this, and now, I’m just glad that we can kind of set the stage for guys that are kids that are coming up now,” Mahomes said.  

No matter who wins the big game on Sunday, these two men have already made a massive imprint onto the NFL and many hope to see these accomplishments more and more frequently in the future.