Why do black quarterbacks run so often

NFL: The bumpy road for African American quarterbacks

What a spectacle it was! After a breathtaking race to catch up, fellow favorites Kansas City Chiefs have reached the play-off semi-finals of the US Football League NFL. The team around quarterback Patrick Mahomes prevailed against the Houston Texans 51:31 despite a 24-0 deficit and will face the Tennessee Titans in the last four this Sunday at home.

The focus of the game was once again the spectacle quarterback Mahomes, who was voted the most valuable player in the NFL last year. Mahome made the Chiefs fireworks possible - and had a lot to talk about after that memorable evening at Arrowhead Stadium. "If you are 0:24 behind in the NFL, you rarely win. We knew that everything had to go in the right direction," said the 24-year-old about the quarter-finals with a big twist and many records. No one in Kansas City will forget this day in a hurry.

What hardly anyone should have registered, because it is now normal in the NFL: The star of the evening, quarterback Pat Mahomes, is African American. It was once considered taboo for blacks to play the most important positions in American football.

Pioneer Marlin Briscoe

Marlin Biscoe here in 1975: with him the slow rethinking began

So in 1968. On October 6th, Marlin Briscoe made history. For the first time, the African American ran in an NFL game as a quarterback for the Denver Broncos from the start. An absolute novelty that nobody expected at the time. Briscoe had already played in this position in college, but in the NFL he was not allowed to do it in his first games for the Broncos - he had to play as a defensive back. The practice of moving to a different position was not uncommon at the time, rather the rule since George Taliaferro was the first black player ever to be drafted by an NFL club in 1949. Racism was widespread in the United States. African Americans were deprived of the necessary intelligence and leadership skills for key positions in the game.

In early October 1968, the Denver Broncos' two regular quarterbacks were injured, and Briscoe was the only player with experience in the position. "They thought I was crazy," Briscoe recently recalled. "There was simply no such thing as a black man playing quarterback for the pros." He played so well that he was then allowed to end the season as number one quarterback. After the season, however, he was asked to move back to another position. That sealed the end of his quarterback career. Nevertheless, the spell was broken.

Rocky path

James Harris in 1976: He continued the story of the African American Quaterbacks

There were a few African American quarterbacks in the NFL in the 1970s, but they continued to face racism. "You dream of playing in the NFL. But if you dream of playing quarterback, it becomes a nightmare". James Harris of the Buffalo Bills later said in an ESPN interview.

Another turning point came in 1987. A players strike threatened to end the season. To prevent it, many owners of NFL teams decided to include black quarterbacks in their teams. One of them was Doug Williams of the Washington Redskins. At the end of the season, Williams led his team to a Super Bowl triumph as the first African American quarterback.

Racism to this day

Silent protest: Eli Harold (left to right), quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid at the US national anthem in 2016

In the meantime, African American quarterbacks have become an integral part of the NFL. Players like Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson from the Baltimore Ravens, Cam Newton from the Carolina Panthers or Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks make their mark on the league with their often extravagant style of play. And the proportion of black quarterbacks continues to rise: this season, around 35 percent of the NFL regulars in the quarterback position have African American roots. In this year's playoff quarter-finals, four out of eight quarterbacks were African American, a record.

That doesn't mean, however, that racism has completely disappeared from the NFL. This is shown by the Colin Kaepernick case. The quarterback led a wave of protests against racism in 2016 when he did not stand still during the US national anthem before the game, but instead knelt. The consequences followed immediately: after the 2016/2017 season, Kaepernick was eliminated from the San Francisco 49ers and has not been signed by any other NFL team since then.

  • Super Bowl: Average Brady Triumphs Over Weak Goff

    A rare duel

    New England Patriots versus Los Angeles Rams - 17 years after the last duel in the Super Bowl, the two teams are dueling again for the famous Vince Lombardi Trophy. The location of the duel of the generations with the two quarterbacks Tom Brady (41, New England) and Jared Goff (24, Rams) is Atlanta in the US state of Georgia.

  • Super Bowl: Average Brady Triumphs Over Weak Goff

    All eyes on Brady

    The New England quarterback legend is once again in focus: Brady has already won the title with the Patriots five times (2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, 2016). In Atlanta he is going to his ninth Super Bowl. Brady and New England lost only three times (2007, 2011 against the New York Giants and 2017 against the Philadelphia Eagles) in the final.

  • Super Bowl: Average Brady Triumphs Over Weak Goff

    Point and peak arm

    Against Philadelphia, Brady and the Patriots just lost out in the 33:41 offensive spectacle the year before. In Atlanta, the game is absolutely characterized by the two strong defenses. The Rams defense can hold up well against the favorites and his offensive for a long time, but it becomes apparent early on: In their own game, little or nothing goes forward for the Los Angeles team.

  • Super Bowl: Average Brady Triumphs Over Weak Goff

    Inferior to the favorite in all respects

    Many fans hoped that the Rams would do it against the rather unpopular Patriots like the Eagles last year. Sean McVay's team, the youngest NFL head coach in history at the age of 33, impressed with offensive power in the previous rounds. The greatest hope in the duel with the Patriots is, as usual, the quarteback: Jared Goff is supposed to lead the Rams to their second title after 1999.

  • Super Bowl: Average Brady Triumphs Over Weak Goff

    Jared Goff get out of hand

    But the 24-year-old does not come into play at all. On the contrary: As the playing time continues, the performance of the Rams quarterback gets worse and worse. Imprecise passes, wrong decisions and a desperate solo effort in the second quarter do not suggest anything good for the second half. But that doesn’t leave the first half as a whole: half-time is pointless.

  • Super Bowl: Average Brady Triumphs Over Weak Goff

    Weak game, weak halftime show

    There, like every year, the half-time show, which is eagerly awaited, is a huge blow. Maroon 5 and front man Adam Levine can't really enchant the hearts of the audience with an uninspired performance. At least the evening in Atlanta is very coherent up to this point: game bad, halftime show bad - only the mood fans posted by the organizer in front of the stage can be heard.

  • Super Bowl: Average Brady Triumphs Over Weak Goff

    It goes on weak

    And even after the show, which will certainly not go down in history, at least not in the best half-time shows, the game remains erratic: mistakes, both teams and a battle that continues in defense also let the German audience that watching in the dead of night, slowly becoming impatient. All sorts of things are said on Twitter, just no enthusiasm.

  • Super Bowl: Average Brady Triumphs Over Weak Goff

    For the first time male cheerleaders take part

    The cheerleaders traditionally go to work with enthusiasm - at the 53rd Super Bowl there are also two men among them for the first time: Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies are part of the dance ensemble of the Los Angeles Rams and - unlike the team on the field - do - a good impression. It will not have been because of their performance.

  • Super Bowl: Average Brady Triumphs Over Weak Goff

    Sad record

    The Patriots take the lead in the third quarter with a field goal and millions of fans hope that this is the spark the game needs. But reality teaches everyone better. It remains a weak game. The best evidence of this: The third quarter also ended without a single touchdown - a novelty in Super Bowl history.

  • Super Bowl: Average Brady Triumphs Over Weak Goff

    Patriots that crucial bit better

    Rams quarteback Goff conceded interceptions after some bad attempts to pass. After all, the spectators still get their money's worth: After two strong passes from Brady to Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots are two yards from the end zone of the Rams. Sony Michel then finally completes the first touchdown of the game on the next move - New England is on the winning road.

  • Super Bowl: Average Brady Triumphs Over Weak Goff

    The toughest win?

    Brady is still not brilliant, but the Patriots play clever. A failed field goal attempt by the Rams brings victory - Brady and New England win their 6th Super Bowl and draw level with record champions Pittsburgh. Brady is also the oldest quarterback who can win the Super Bowl, the sole Super Bowl record winner and has long been a legend in the sport.

  • Super Bowl: Average Brady Triumphs Over Weak Goff

    Deserved winner in a weak game

    Proof of the weak level of the game: In the end, at 13: 3, it is the Super Bowl with the lowest points in history. Curiously, it is also the clearest victory for Brady, the Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick, who are all responsible for six triumphs for the New England team and, at 66, will go down in history as the oldest Super Bowl champion coach.

    Author: David Vorholt