Growing up I followed the teams my Dad pulled for and in his house we pulled for the Redskins. As I became a teenager and more into sports I asked him why did we like the Redskins. He said “Because they were the first to start a Black quarterback and many white people believe Blacks couldn’t play that position. ” I didn’t really get the significance then but, over the years I’ve learned as a professional black athlete myself just how important it was for us and the entire black community.
I overheard conversations by my Dad with other men in the neighborhood when he was out in his Redskins hat mentioning the name Doug Williams. He was the first black quarterback to start and win a Superbowl for the Redskins in 1988.
Today 24 years later RG3III rookie quarterback sensation for the Washington Redskins and Russell Wilson rookie quarterback sensation for the Seattle Seahawks will be fighting to move on to the second round of the NFL Playoffs. They like others before them have overcome all the stereotypes. They have proved many wrong and some right that black quarterbacks can play.
Unlike Doug in his days being referred to in the media as the Black quarterback, RGIII and Russell Wilson are referred to as just quarterback. In Doug’s days RGIII and Russell Wilson would have been forced to play another position because many teams and coaches believed Blacks couldn’t excel at the quarterback position. Many have paved the way for them to have this opportunity today.
What a great story today in DC for the NFL as two of the top Rookie Quarterbacks square off in the NFL WildCard Matchup. This is a win win situation for the Black Quarterback controversy because win or lose a black quarterback will come out on top. This is another opportunity to remind some that in the NFL the Quarterback position is not Black, White, Puerto Rican or Hatian. It is simply Quarterback and if you can play it you can play it.
@chasitymelvin Follow me on twitter