- Covered Chiefs for 20 seasons for Kansas City Star
- Joined ESPN in 2013
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thirty-five years after Doug Williams became the first Black quarterback to start in the Super Bowl, this season’s NFL championship game will have two Black starting quarterbacks for the first time.
Super Bowl LVII will feature Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles.
“To be on the world stage and have two Black quarterbacks start in the Super Bowl, I think it’s special, and I’ve learned more and more about the history of the Black quarterback since I’ve been in this league,” Mahomes said Thursday. “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.
“You’ve seen over time, whenever Doug Williams or Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb go out and play great football, it gives other guys like me and Jalen chances to have this platform and have this spot on an NFL team. And so, if we can continue to show that we can consistently be great, I think it’ll just continue to open doors, for other kids growing up to follow their dreams, to be a quarterback of the NFL team. It’s good that we have guys like Jalen on the other side. He’s a great person and obviously a great quarterback.”
Williams led Washington to a 42-10 win over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII following the 1987 season. He threw for 340 yards and four touchdowns.
Since then, six Black quarterbacks have started in the Super Bowl, including Mahomes twice, but never two in the same game.
“I think it’s history,” Hurts said Thursday in Philadelphia. “I think it’s something worthy of being noted. It’s come a long way. I think there’s only been seven African American quarterbacks to play in the Super Bowl. To be the first in something is pretty cool, so I know it will be a good one.
“I think anyone like Mike Vick, Cam [Newton], Randall Cunningham, McNabb, all those type of guys are guys that a lot of young kids looked up to, a lot of young Black kids as well, Steve McNair, all of those guys.”
Mahomes said he did not aggravate his high ankle sprain in the Chiefs’ AFC Championship Game victory against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. He was scheduled to be a full practice participant Thursday as the Chiefs began preparations for the Super Bowl.
He said he was experiencing general soreness from what he called a physical game but added, “Other than that, I feel I’m in a good spot.”
Hurts also has been battling an injury, as he suffered an SC joint sprain in his right shoulder on Dec. 18 against the Chicago Bears. He returned for the Eagles’ season finale and the postseason.
“I’m getting there. I made it clear this whole time it’s been something I’ve been dealing with,” he said, adding that it’s getting better “with time.”
Hurts wouldn’t put a number on it when asked what percentage he is health-wise.
ESPN’s Tim McManus contributed to this story.
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