By: Chris Cwik
Super Bowl LVII is weeks away, but it’s already making history. When the big game begins, it will mark the first time in Super Bowl history two Black quarterbacks — Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts — will start the contest.
Hurts punched his ticket to the NFL title game with a dominant win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in the NFC championship. Hurts threw for 121 yards, with no passing touchdowns or interceptions, in the 31-7 win. He also ran for a score, finishing the day with 39 yards on the ground.
Mahomes’ game was far more intense. Despite a bad ankle, Mahomes found a way to lead the Chiefs to a 23-30 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC championship. He threw for 326 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Mahomes turned the ball over once on an uncharacteristic fumble, but more than made up for that with a clutch scramble that put the Chiefs in field-goal position to win the game.
Black quarterbacks have never squared off in Super Bowl
Black quarterbacks have started — and won — Super Bowls, but Super Bowl LVII will mark the first time both teams will start Black quarterbacks.
In 1988, Washington’s Doug Williams became the first Black quarterback to start — and win — a Super Bowl. Williams was the MVP of the contest after throwing for 340 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-10 win over the Denver Broncos.
Over a decade later, Steve McNair led the Tennessee Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV, losing to the St. Louis Rams. Five years later, Donovan McNabb and the Eagles lost to Tom Brady and the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.
Colin Kaepernick started Super Bowl XLVII for the 49ers in 2013 before falling to the Baltimore Ravens 34-31. The following season, Russell Wilson led the Seattle Seahawks to a dominant win over the Denver Broncos. In doing so, Wilson became the second Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl. Wilson brought Seattle back to a Super Bowl in 2015, but lost to Brady and the New England Patriots. The next year, Cam Newton took the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl, though the team lost to the Broncos.
In 2020, Mahomes became the third Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl, leading the Chiefs to a victory over the 49ers. Mahomes took the team back to the Super Bowl in 2021, but fell to Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Either Hurts will become the fourth Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl or Mahomes will become the first Black starting quarterback to win multiple Super Bowls when the dust settles at Super Bowl LVII in Arizona.