He noted that when Eddie Robinson, the legendary Grambling coach,
became determined in the 1960s to guide a Black quarterback to the
NFL, he sought traits that the league preferred in a quarterback –
tall, strong throwing arm – and also downplayed any running ability.
In fact, Moore said, in a sign of the times, Robinson wouldn't let his
It was understood that NFL teams would quickly look to switch Black
quarterbacks with speed to other positions rather than develop them as
quarterbacks, said Moore, adding that some players actually ran slower
to try to head off that problem.
One of the quarterbacks Robinson guided to the NFL was Doug Williams,
who not only made Super Bowl history but was also involved in another
key moment for Black quarterbacks in 1979. Williams played against
Vince Evans in a regular-season game that marked the first time two
Black quarterbacks started against each other, Moore said.
For Black quarterbacks, gaining visibility as what Moore called the
ultimate leader in team sports was crucial, especially given the
immense pressure they also endured because of societal forces. Black
quarterbacks faced scorn and even death threats from fans as well as
questions rooted in negative stereotypes about their leadership
ability and capability to manage games, Moore said.
"So, when you have a professional quarterback who is Black, it's
important because now you're proving these stereotypes wrong,"
As he considers this next monumental moment for Black quarterbacks in
this year's Super Bowl, Moore said he is hopeful the high-profile
matchup will enhance the visibility Hurts and Mahomes have already developed.
"I think that these guys are becoming the face of the league.
Patrick Mahomes is on commercials, Jalen Hurts is on commercials, so
it shows things are rapidly changing," Moore said.