Despite the long history of the NFL, only three Super Bowl-winning teams have been led to victory by a Black quarterback, with only one before the 2010s. Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs is the most recent Black QB to wear the ring. Here are the historic quarterbacks who make that list:
1. Doug Williams was the first Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl
In 1978, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked up the young QB in the first round of the NFL draft. He was later traded to Washington in 1986, leading the team to a 42-10 Super Bowl 22 win against the Denver Broncos in 1988.
According to ESPN, at 33 years of age, Williams “put together the best quarter in Super Bowl history with four touchdown passes and earned MVP honors.” The Grambling State alum completed 18 of 29 passes for 340 yards despite hyper-extending his knee in the first quarter of the game.
CBS Sports reported, “To get that done against that Denver defense and Elway, and getting that ring, that is definitely iconic.”
Williams is currently the senior adviser to Washington Commanders team president Jason Wright.
2. Russell Wilson was next, 26 years later
It would be another 26 years before another starting Black quarterback won a Super Bowl game.
In 2014, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson dominated Super Bowl 48 against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, with a 43-8 win to become the world champions. The 26-year-old QB completed 18 of 25 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns.
Wilson became the fourth second-year QB to win a Super Bowl, along with Tom Brady, Kurt Warner, and Ben Roethlisberger.
At the time, Keith McMillan of The Washington Post reported that Wilson’s skin color was never discussed. He stated, “I decided that Wilson’s victory, and the lack of mentioning him being the second ever since Williams to win it all, was just as much as a victory as Williams had back in 1988. A quarterback’s skin color isn’t a big deal anymore. Teams just want to win now. And they’ll put under center whoever they think gives them the best chance to win. That’s the victory worth celebrating.”
Amidst a blockbuster trade, Wilson is leaving the Seahawks. Ironically, he will be playing for the Denver Broncos in the upcoming season. The team traded three players and five draft picks to get the star QB to come to the Mile High City. According to FanSided, contract negotiations are underway, and Wilson may end up asking for a five-year, $250 million deal.
According to Sports Illustrated, the 33-year-old QB said in his first press conference that while this is “day one,” he plans to play for 10 more years and “hopes to win three or four Super Bowls with the Broncos.”
3. Patrick Mahomes is the most recent Black QB to win a Super Bowl
Patrick Mahomes is the third and most recent Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl and earn the Super Bowl MVP title.
In 2020, Mahomes led the Kansas City Chiefs to a 31-20 Super Bowl 54 win against QB Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers. He completed 26 of 42 passes for 286 yards with two touchdown passes.
The Texas Tech alum entered the 2017 NFL Draft after finishing his junior year of college, spending most of his rookie year as a backup QB. In 2018, he became starting quarterback for the Chiefs, breaking countless records along the way, including the most touchdown passes in a season (50 in 2018).
Wilson, Lamar Jackson (Baltimore), Dak Prescott (Dallas), and Kyler Murray (Arizona) are among the Black QBs to watch for a Super Bowl run this upcoming season. It is only a matter of time before another player follows in Williams’ legendary footsteps.