Super Bowl 2023: Jalen Hurts’ and Patrick Mahomes’ historical moment serves as an inspiration to Black youth

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — History is made when our Philadelphia Eagles take on the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s the first time two black quarterbacks have faced each other in the Super Bowl.

For some people it’s about representation, but for others it’s an important moment in history.

“It’s just historical. I love it,” said Eagles fan Arthur Tribbett of Southwest Philadelphia.

Black men were banned from the NFL from 1933 to 1946. Once it was lifted, black players had an immediate impact on the game.

In 1988, Doug Williams became the first black quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl.

34 years later, Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes will become the first two black quarterbacks to start in the Super Bowl.

“It’s part of where the game has gone, so it’s a good thing,” said Kenneth Shropshire, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Kenneth Shropshire is a former athlete specializing in the sports business. He says there was a time when black athletes were thought to lack the skills required for a leadership role that requires more critical thinking.

“The closer you are to the ball in any sport, the less likely that person is to be black, so we haven’t seen a lot of black point guards, we haven’t seen a lot of black centers,” Shropshire said.

For many football fans, this historical moment serves as an inspiration for the youth.

“For the younger black kids, they can imagine that as they get older,” Tribbett said.

“It gives kids someone to look up to, someone to adore,” said Matt Lavelle of Washington Township, New Jersey.

“If they say, ‘Why are we looking at the color of these men’s skin, why not just say the best person gets to play?’ That’s where everyone wants to be,” Shropshire said.

We’ve come a long way, but many people say there’s still work to be done, especially when it comes to hiring more black head coaches to run these NFL teams.

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