When Patrick Mahomes leads out the Kansas City Chiefs to take on Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles, it will be the first Super Bowl to have two Black quarterbacks battling it out for the Lombardi Trophy.

It's a defining moment for the NFL, which has struggled with equality and representation in the upper echelons of the sport, as now finally at the very pinnacle of the game there will be two Black players operating in the most important position in the most important game there is.


"It's special," Mahomes said in the build-up to his third Super Bowl appearance in Arizona. "There's so many great ones that haven't been recognised because of the stereotype of the Black quarterback not being able to have sustained success.

"I'm glad that I'm able to be on this world stage with another quarterback in Jalen that's able to play at a high level and prove that we've been able to do this the whole time."

Hurts, at 24, will play in his first Super Bowl. He said: "It's a historic moment. To be on this platform and to give so many others so much inspiration moving forward, telling them that they can do it, too... it's a proud moment."

Doug Williams was the first Black quarterback to play in, and win, the Super Bowl back in 1988 with Washington. Since then, just six more Black QBs have made the big game, with only Mahomes and Russell Wilson lifting the Lombardi Trophy.

Hurts will be the eighth, but it is the fact he will face Mahomes in the Super Bowl that gives hope of inspiring the next generation.

"I've learned more and more about the history of the Black quarterback since I've been in this league and the guys that came before me and Jalen set the stage for this," added Mahomes. "I'm glad that we can set the stage for kids that are coming up now.

"If we can continue to show that we can consistently be great, I think it'll just continue to open doors for other kids growing up to follow their dreams and to be a quarterback of an NFL team."

Progress should be a lot quicker than previously. Marlin Briscoe is considered the first Black QB of the modern era, having suited up for the Denver Broncos in 1968, with a decade passing until Williams became the first to be selected in the first round of a full modern-day NFL Draft.

Patrick Mahomes and Jalem Hurts are creating history, but they are also leading the charge of the modern quarterbacks in the NFL - who have to run, throw, and think their way to success. Robert Griffin III could also have been a trailblazer, with Williams' former team Washington, after a stellar debut campaign that brought records, awards and a Pro Bowl selection - only for a knee injury to curtail his career.