Two Questions That May Haunt Black Quarterbacks in The NFL

WesAnalyst IFebruary 17, 2010

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 06:  Quarterback Donovan McNabb #5 and Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on December 6, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Will we ever see another black quarterback win a Super Bowl?

And if not, will it begin to affect the way general managers build their respective teams?

They are tough questions to ask and you don’t need to be a racist one way or the other to answer it. But they are fair questions and ones that needs to be addressed.

There have been 44 editions of the Super Bowl, and yet only once has a starting black quarterback hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Actually, if you want to get technical, there has never been a full-time black starting quarterback to guide his team the league’s ultimate prize.

Doug Williams won Super Bowl XXII with the Washington Redskins, but he only started two games during the regular season. Believe it or not, he lost both. Ultimately though Joe Gibbs gave Williams the nod at the end of the season after Jay Schroeder struggled and battled injuries.

And when Williams went under center in the playoffs he didn’t exactly light the world on fire. In the Divisional Round matchup against the Chicago Bears he passed for 200 yards and completed less than 50 percent of his passes.

Things didn’t look much more promising in the NFC Championship against the Minnesota Vikings. In fact, Williams completed less than 35 percent of his passes and only tallied 119 passing yards.

But he won. And truth be told, that is all that matters in the NFL.

Gibbs stuck by his quarterback’s side and Williams rewarded his coach handsomely by throwing four touchdowns on 11 passes and racking up 228 yards in the second quarter alone.

Not only did Williams shatter records, but he also beat his white counterpart, John Elway.

It was an incredible moment for a guy that was destined to fail because of his skin color.

The game marked the opportunity for black quarterbacks to be seen as equals. The game was supposed to break down color barriers and open the gates for other black quarterbacks to succeed in the NFL.

None of that transpired though. Following the ’87 season Williams made 12 more NFL starts, went 5-7, and then retired.

Since then only two black quarterbacks, Steve McNair and Donovan McNabb have started in the Super Bowl.

Steve McNair came up one yard short against the juggernaut known as the Rams.

Donovan McNabb came within three points of defeating the dynasty known as the New England Patriots.

So what gives? Why haven’t we seen another black quarterback win a Super Bowl since Williams?

And with only one champion in 44 attempts are general managers going to avoid the black quarterback?

Before you scroll down to the comment section and call me a racist, you need to think about the question. I am only asking you why a black quarterback has not won a Super Bowl and if that will impact how teams are built.

I have never said once that a black quarterback won’t win a Super Bowl again. I am just trying to figure out why it hasn’t happened and what the ramifications may be.

And I don’t want to hear a nonsensical comment from a racist who simply says, “Because they’re not good enough.”

Use your football knowledge to try and figure out an answer to an impossible question.

I began to wonder if black quarterbacks were placed in a position to fail.

I find that hard to believe considering players like Warren Moon, with the Houston Oilers, and Randall Cunningham, with the Minnesota Vikings, played with some of the most explosive offenses of their time.

Ah, but you say they didn’t have a lock-down defense to back them up.

Well what about the years Cunningham played in Philadelphia? He arguably had some of the greatest defense of all time in the ‘90s and yet he only won a single playoff game.

Even someone like McNabb found himself on teams with talented defenses one year, explosive offenses the next and yet failed to win a Super Bowl.

It really doesn’t make sense, and yet no one wants to talk about the elephant in the room.

And if you just want to dismiss the fact that black quarterbacks have only won one Super Bowl, then you need to look at the fact that black quarterbacks are getting run out of the league and replaced by white quarterbacks.

Don’t give me some speech about Reverend Jesse Jackson here. I don’t care about his views, and I doubt he can provide any football knowledge on this topic.

All I ask it that you look at some of the black quarterbacks who have played in the NFL over the past couple of years.

Mike Vick ruins his opportunity in Atlanta. I get why he was booted from the team and never welcomed back. But the Falcons don’t even consider seeking an athletic mobile quarterback who may happen to be black. Instead they opt for white quarterback Matt Ryan. Didn’t a quarterback like Vick help produce some of the best years in Falcons history? Wasn’t he a big reason why the Falcons went into Lambeau Field and beat Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers?

So why not try to find someone who can play just like him? Why didn’t they go down the avenue of finding another black quarterback?

We saw Tarvaris Jackson get the boot in Minnesota this year. Brad Childress looked no further than Favre. Was Childress influenced by poor showings from McNabb in Philly, whom Childress worked with as the team’s offensive coordinator?

And speaking of McNabb, we hear rumors that his days in Philadelphia could be numbered. The front the front office is looking to replace him with Kevin Kolb.

With JaMarcus Russell struggling in Oakland there is a good chance Bruce Gradkowski may take over the reins despite the fact that he carries a 3-9 record in his 12 career starts and has only completed 53.3 percent of passes. Oh and he also has thrown 16 picks against 15 touchdowns.

So this makes me wonder if General Managers are steering clear of the black quarterback.

How many GMs will even take a shot on a black quarterback in this year’s draft?

Hell, only has one black quarterback listed in their top 10 of quarterback prospects.

I know teams want to win and people want to make accurate projections, but are we subconsciously telling ourselves that a black quarterback has less odds of winning a Super Bowl?

If this is true then we have to ask ourselves two more questions: Are we witnessing the death of the black quarterback in the NFL? And who is digging their graves?


    How Eagles Could Shut Down Vikings' Receiving Duo

    Philadelphia Eagles logo
    Philadelphia Eagles

    How Eagles Could Shut Down Vikings' Receiving Duo

    NBC Sports Philadelphia
    via NBC Sports Philadelphia

    Before Reflecting on Hectic Year, Ajayi Wants a SB Win

    Philadelphia Eagles logo
    Philadelphia Eagles

    Before Reflecting on Hectic Year, Ajayi Wants a SB Win

    Les Bowen

    Graham: We Can Prove We’re the Best Defensive Front

    Philadelphia Eagles logo
    Philadelphia Eagles

    Graham: We Can Prove We’re the Best Defensive Front

    Josh Alper
    via ProFootballTalk

    The NFC Is Giving Us Cinderella with Foles or Keenum

    Philadelphia Eagles logo
    Philadelphia Eagles

    The NFC Is Giving Us Cinderella with Foles or Keenum

    via Yahoo