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Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, Eagles’ Jalen Hurts set to make Super Bowl history. Here’s how

Kansas City Star 2/3/2023 Herbie Teope, The Kansas City Star

From Andy Reid squaring off against his former team to the Kelce brothers occupying opposing sidelines, Super Bowl LVII showcases plenty of juicy storylines for the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles alike.

Like Reid, who coached the Eagles for more than a decade, current Philly head coach Nick Sirianni is game-planning against a former employer (he was on the Chiefs’ coaching staff from 2009-12). And the Chiefs will be making their third title-game appearance in four seasons.

But one aspect of the Feb. 12 Super Bowl holds special and historical significance.

Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona will be the first Super Bowl featuring two Black starting quarterbacks: Patrick Mahomes for the Chiefs and Jalen Hurts for the Eagles.

That this momentous occasion occurs during Black History Month isn’t lost on Mahomes.

“To be on the world stage and have two Black quarterbacks start in the Super Bowl, I think it’s special,” Mahomes said. “I’ve learned more and more about the history of the Black quarterbacks since I’ve been in this league.

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


It’s been a long time coming for a Super Bowl to feature two starting signal-callers of color.

The 2022 NFL season was ripe with talented Black starting quarterbacks, including Mahomes, Hurts, Lamar Jackson (Ravens), Kyler Murray (Cardinals), Russell Wilson (Broncos), Geno Smith (Seahawks), Dak Prescott (Cowboys), Trey Lance (49ers), Jameis Winston (Saints) and Justin Fields (Bears).

Collectively, this group of players has helped shift further some viewpoints about the quarterback position. Just two seasons ago, the top five players on the NFL Top 100 list — voted upon by the league’s players — included Jackson (ranked first), Wilson (second) and Mahomes (fourth).

In the modern Super Bowl era, however, just seven Black quarterbacks have made it to the big game: Mahomes, Wilson, Doug Williams (Washington), Steve McNair (Titans), Donovan McNabb (Eagles), Colin Kaepernick (49ers) and Cam Newton (Panthers).

Mahomes, Williams and Wilson emerged with Super Bowl championships.

Williams was the first Black quarterback to win it all, leading Washington to victory against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII. Twenty-six years later, Wilson led the Seattle to a win against the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.

And more recently, of course, Mahomes rallied the Chiefs to victory over San Francisco in Super Bowl LIV.

Like those before him, Mahomes, who is set to become the first Black quarterback to start in three Super Bowls, embraces the opportunity to set an example for the next generation.

“I think you’ve seen over time that whenever a guy like Doug Williams or Michael Vick or Donovan McNabb goes out and play great football,” Mahomes said, “it gives other guys like me and Jalen chances to have this platform and have this spot on an NFL team.

“So if we can continue to show that we can consistently be great, I think it will continue to open doors for other kids growing up to follow their dreams and be a quarterback on an NFL team.

“It’s good that we have guys like Jalen on the other side,” Mahomes added. “He’s a great person and obviously a great quarterback.”


Reid, head coach of the Chiefs, has had the honor of coaching two of the seven Black quarterbacks who’ve started a Super Bowl: first with McNabb in Super Bowl XXXIX, and now with Mahomes for the third time.

“I think the biggest thing is that they’re really good,” Reid said. “I think that is a tribute to the kids (Mahomes and Jalen Hurts). I mean, that’s unique, it is unique.”

Reid, who grew up in Los Angeles, said his evaluation of players doesn’t consider skin color.

“I don’t ever look at it that way,” he said. “I don’t really care what color you are. (If) you’re a good player, which at that position takes a tremendous amount of time and effort, I can really appreciate that. I’ve never been one that really looked at the color part of it.

“Where I grew up, we had everybody. Everybody was a part of the equation and someday I hope that’s the way it all works, and as we go on you’ll never have to be asked a question like this again. I understand why you’re asking it, though, absolutely. But it’s a tribute to the kids (Mahomes and Hurts) though. Both of them are phenomenal players, and I’m happy for both of them.”

Mahomes believes the NFL is in a good place in this regard.

“We have a lot of great quarterbacks in this league and I’m glad that I’m a part of it,” he said. “And we’ll continue to evolve the game and set the standard the right way. It’s happened before us and it will continue to go after us, as well.”

As for the present, there’s a very important game to be played.

“It will be a great game — two great teams and against another great quarterback,” Mahomes said. “I’m excited to go out there and try to do what we can to win against a great team.”

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