For the first time in NFL history, two Black quarterbacks are playing in the Super Bowl. Here is why that matters.
Journalists tend to talk about every big “first” -- the first Black president, Barack Obama, the first Black woman seated on the Supreme Court, Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman elected to the Michigan Supreme Court, Kyra Harris Bolden, the first publicly gay United States cabinet member, Pete Buttigeig as the Secretary of Transportation, the first Black female astronaut to travel into space, Dr. Mae Jemison, the list goes on and on.
Additionally, we talk about the big firsts of Native Americans, Hispanics, Jewish people, Ukrainian born and more. The question becomes, when will we stop talking about firsts?
The answer? When there are no more to be talked about. Milestones and breaking barriers are worth talking about and celebrating.
That’s why today we are talking about the first time in NFL history two Black quarterbacks will be making the calls in the Super Bowl.
When you understand the history of why it’s a big deal, you’ll understand why it needs to be talked about.
“I’m very emotional right now,” said Lee Rouson, a former running back for the New York Giants. “To actually think about it, it’s really life-impacting.”
Rouson said it’s history that needs to be talked about, because he’s seen racism in the past from coaches who felt black players didn’t have the acumen to do anything other than block.
He said there have been instances where black quarterbacks had success in college, but weren’t given the chance to play that position in the NFL.
“They were asked to change their position,” Rouson said.
Devin Funchess, a former NFL tight end/wide receiver who played in Super Bowl L as a member of the Carolina Panthers, said the Hurts-Mahomes matchup is more than just about football.
“We breaking all the barriers and we are going to continue to build on what the standard is right now,” he said. “Just keep it going forward. We are getting to that point in the world where we are making that transition to bigger and better things.”
The barrier broken by the Hurts-Mahomes tandem won’t be the only first in the Super Bowl.
Philadelphia center Jason Kelce and Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce will become the first set of brothers to play in the Super Bowl on opposite teams.
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