Mahomes, Hurts embrace roles in first Super Bowl meeting of Black quarterbacks

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

PHOENIX — Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts both embraced their place in NFL history as the first two Black quarterbacks set to start in the same Super Bowl.

The Chiefs and Eagles are set to meet in Super Bowl LVII at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

“It’s special,” Mahomes said. “I have a lot of respect for the guys who came before me and laid the foundation. Doug Williams, and there are so many other greats that battled to get that starting position.”

Hurts said, “It’s historic. Think about all the rich history in this game and to be a part of such an historic event, a historic moment, is special. There’s been so many quarterbacks before me, including Pat, that laid the foundation for me to have this opportunity.”

Mahomes is set to make his third start in the Super Bowl. For Hurts, who’s in his third season in the league, it will be his first start.

Williams became the first Black quarterback to win the league’s grand game in Super Bowl XXII, when he guided Washington to a 42-10 rout of Denver on Jan. 31, 1988.

Historically, Black quarterbacks were denied opportunities or moved to other positions. The plight of Black quarterbacks is chronicled in the book, “The rise of the African-American quarterback: What it means for America,” by Jason Reid, which was published in 2022.

“So, they (put me in) the position to be here and to play against the guy like Jalen, a genuine great dude that has worked his tail off to be in the position that he’s in,” Mahomes said. “It’s going to be a special game and a special moment for a lot of kids to watch as they grow up and try to assume that role that we’re trying to set the example for.”

Hurts, who played at Alabama and Oklahoma, was drafted in the second round (53rd overall) in the 2020 draft. He was the fifth quarterback taken behind Joe Burrow (first overall) by Bengals, Tua Tagovailoa (fifth) by the Dolphins, Justin Herbert (sixth) by the Chargers and Jordan Love (26th) by the Packers.

He has studied the history of Black quarterbacks in the Super Bowl.

“For the first time for two to go head-to-head, that’s uplifting for ... the next generation of quarterbacks,” Hurts said. “That four-year-old, five-year-old kid back kid back in Houston, back in Philly, back in Texas, Louisiana, wherever, across the world. Regardless of what someone may say or have an opinion about you, you can do it. You can do it, too.”

Both players shrugged off questions about their injuries. Mahomes suffered a high ankle sprain in the playoffs, and Hurts missed time late in the regular season with a shoulder injury.

“It’s great,” Mahomes said. “It’s doing good.”

Hurts missed the final two regular-season games.

“I’m good; we’re at the Super Bowl,” Hurts said. “It (doesn’t) too much matter at this point. We (came) here to do something, and we want to finish it off.”

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