Super Bowl LVII is weeks away, but it’s already making history. When the big game begins, it will be the first time in Super Bowl history that two black quarterbacks — Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts — will be start the contest.
Hurts clinched their ticket to the contest with a dominating victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Hurts threw for 121 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions, in the 31-7 win. He also ran for a score, finishing the day with 39 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown.
Mahomes’ game was much more intense. Despite a bad ankle, Mahomes found a way to lead the Chiefs to a 23-30 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. He threw for 326 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Mahomes turned the ball over once on an unusual fumble but more than made up for it with a clutch run that put the Chiefs in field goal position to win the game.
Black quarterbacks have never faced each other in the Super Bowl
Black quarterbacks have started — and won — Super Bowls, but Super Bowl LVII will mark the first time both teams have started black quarterbacks.
In 1988, Washington’s Doug Williams became the first black quarterback to start — and win — a Super Bowl. Williams was named contest MVP after throwing for 340 yards and 4 touchdowns in a 42-10 win over the Denver Broncos.
More than a decade later, Steve McNair led the Tennessee Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV. He came within a yard of victory. Five years later, Donovan McNabb and the Eagles lost to Tom Brady in Super Bowl XXXIX.
Colin Kaepernick started Super Bowl XLVII for the 49ers in 2013, but fell to the Baltimore Ravens 34-31. The following season, Russell Wilson led the Seattle Seahawks to a dominating victory over the Denver Broncos. In doing so, Wilson became the second black quarterback to win a Super Bowl. Wilson took Seattle to a Super Bowl in 2015, but lost to Brady and the New England Patriots. The following year, Cam Newton took the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl, although the team lost to the Broncos.
In 2020, Mahomes became the third black quarterback to win a Super Bowl, leading the Chiefs to a win over the 49ers. Mahomes took the team back to the Super Bowl in 2021, but fell to Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Either Hurts will become the fourth black quarterback to win a Super Bowl or Mahomes will become the first black starting quarterback to win multiple Super Bowls when the dust settles in Super Bowl LVII.