The NFL made history back in September 2013 by featuring nine starting African-American quarterbacks in week-one of the season, the most to start a season in the 90-plus-year history of the league.
Now NFL fans will witness more history, as a Black quarterback will start in the Super Bowl for only the 4th time since its creation 48 years ago.
The Seattle Seahawks will take on the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game on Jan. 19. San Fran’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson both are of African-American descent, meaning a Black quarterback is guaranteed to advance on to one of the greatest sports stages in the world.
Kaepernick—whose birth father is African-American and birth mother is Caucasian, is already in the history books after leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl last January, becoming the 3rd Black quarterback ever to start in the Super Bowl. Kaepernick came close to becoming only the 2nd Black quarterback to actually win the Super Bowl, but the 49ers lost, 34-31, to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.
Now Kaepernick is just one game away from becoming the only Black quarterback to start in multiple Super Bowls, but he’ll have to get by Wilson and the No. 1 seed Seahawks in Seattle in front of one of the most hostile home crowds in the league.
Wilson, a second-year quarterback raised out of Richmond, Va., has put up better production numbers than Kaepernick over the past two seasons. Wilson has thrown for 52 touchdowns, 6,475 passing yards and a 100.6 passer rating since 2012, while Kaepernick, who took over as the 49ers starter halfway through the 2012 season, has recorded 31 touchdowns, 5000 yards and a 93.8 passer rating since being named starter.
Kaepernick, who completed 16-of-28 pass attempts for 302 yards, a touchdown and ran for 62 yards and a touchdown during Super Bowl XLVII, told Time Sports back in July 2013 that his personal goal is to break the racial barrier and other stereotypes surrounding the NFL quarterback position.
“I don’t ever want to take it to a race level. But, I mean, even with a lot of the quarterbacks in the league who are Black, it’s ‘oh you’re a Black quarterback,’ or ‘you’re just a running quarterback.’ And I think that’s another stereotype that I really feel like I’m trying to break,” said Kaepernick, according to Time.com. “I don’t want to be someone that they say, ‘oh, he can run, but he can’t throw.’ And I think that’s another perception that’s been around for a long time that needs to be changed.”
Before Kaepernick, the last Black quarterback to start in the Super Bowl was former Philadelphia Eagles star passer Donovan McNabb, who fell just short of a championship victory over the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XXXIX back in 2005. Before McNabb, the only other African-American quarterback to start in the Super Bowl was Hall of Famer Doug Williams, who won Super Bowl MVP after a leading the Washington NFL team to a 42-10 win over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII in 1988. Williams is still the lone Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl and its MVP honor.