History will be made the moment both teams step onto the field for Super Bowl LVII. For the first time in the 56-year history of the NFL’s championship game, this year’s Super Bowl on February 12 will feature two Black starting quarterbacks.

Patrick Mahomes will lead the Kansas City Chiefs to their third championship game appearance in four years, making him the first Black quarterback to appear in three Super Bowls. If he emerges victorious, Mahomes will be the first to win it twice.

He will face Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. This will mark Hurts’ first Super Bowl appearance, and at age 24, he will be the youngest starting quarterback in Philadelphia franchise history to play in the big game.

Whoever wins, Mahomes and Hurts already belong to an exclusive and prestigious club: Only seven Black quarterbacks have ever started in the Super Bowl (Hurts will be the eighth), and only three have won it.

Doug Williams

Team: Washington Redskins

Year: 1987

washington redskins quarterback doug williams taking a snap during super bowl xxii
Doug Williams of the Washington Redskins takes the snap against the Denver Broncos at Super Bowl XXII on January 31, 1988.
Owen C. Shaw//Getty Images

Williams broke several racial barriers during his career, becoming the first Black quarterback chosen in the first round of an NFL draft in 1978. He joined the Washington Redskins (now called the Commanders) as backup quarterback in 1986, and the next year was the starter against the John Elway–led Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII.

After trailing 10-0 early, Williams became the first player to throw four touchdown passes in a single Super Bowl quarter. Washington won 42-10, and Williams was named Super Bowl MVP, becoming the first Black quarterback to start in and win any NFL championship game, including those before the Super Bowl was established.

Steve McNair

Team: Tennessee Titans

Year: 2000

tennessee titans quarterback steve mcnair running with the football as players from the st louis rams chase him during super bowl xxxiv
Steve McNair of the Tennessee Titans runs with the ball against the St. Louis Rams during Super Bowl XXXIV on January 30, 2000.
Focus on Sport//Getty Images

McNair fell just one yard short of becoming the second Black quarterback to win the Super Bowl. Spending most of his 13-year career with the Titans (he joined the franchise when it was still called the Houston Oilers), McNair led them to four playoff appearances, including Super Bowl XXXIV against the St. Louis Rams.

With Tennessee trailing 23-16 at the final play, McNair threw a 9-yard pass to wide receiver Kevin Dyson, who was tackled by Rams linebacker Mike Jones one yard shy of the end zone as time expired. In 2003, McNair became the first Black quarterback to win the Associated Press NFL MVP Award.

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Donovan McNabb

Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Year: 2005

philadelphia eagles quarterback donovan mcnabb preparing the throw the ball during super bowl xxxix
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb looks to throw the ball during the first quarter of Super Bowl XXXIX between the Eagles and the New England Patriots on February 6, 2005.
Al Messerschmidt//Getty Images

McNabb set no shortage of team records during his 11 seasons with Philadelphia, including pass attempts (4,746), completions (2,801), passing yards (32,873), and touchdown passes (216). He led the team to eight postseasons, five conference championship games, and an appearance against the New England Patriots at Super Bowl XXXIX.

McNabb had the best season of his career heading into the Super Bowl, becoming the first quarterback to throw more than 30 touchdowns and fewer than 10 interceptions in one season. Despite a close game, New England won the Super Bowl matchup 24-21.

Colin Kaepernick

Team: San Francisco 49ers

Year: 2013

san francisco 49ers quarterback colin kaepernick tapping teammate lamichael james on his football helmet during super bowl xlvii
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick greeting teammate LaMichael James during Super Bowl XLVII on February 3, 2013.
Ezra Shaw//Getty Images

Years before famously taking a knee during the national anthem, Kaepernick led San Francisco to Super Bowl XLVII after becoming starting quarterback in the middle of the 2012-13 season following Alex Smith’s injury. The Baltimore Ravens ultimately defeated the 49ers 34-31.

Kaepernick’s national anthem protest against racial inequality and police brutality in 2016 started a movement that drew praise and condemnation alike. After going unsigned as a free agent the next year, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL and its owners, accusing them of colluding to keep him out of the league in retaliation for his protests. A confidential settlement was reached in 2019.

Russell Wilson

Team: Seattle Seahawks

Years: 2014 and 2015

a group of seattle seahawks football players gathered in a huddle as quarterback russell wilson speaks from the center of them, with his hand raised in the air, during super bowl xlix
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson stands in the middle of a huddle during Super Bowl XLIX between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots, on February 1, 2015.
Tom Hauck//Getty Images

Russell Wilson, who holds the record for most wins by a quarterback in his first nine seasons, was also the first of only two Black quarterbacks in NFL history to appear in multiple Super Bowls, which occurred back-to-back in 2014 and 2015.

Despite heading into Super Bowl XLVIII as the underdog against the Denver Broncos, Wilson led Seattle in a blowout 43-8 victory. The Seahawks attempted a repeat against the New England Patriots the next year but lost 28-24 after Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler intercepted Wilson’s pass at the goal line in one of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl history.

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Cam Newton

Team: Carolina Panthers

Year: 2016

carolina panthers quarterback cam newton running forward with the football while denver broncos player von miller attempts to tackle him during super bowl 50
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton passes under pressure from Von Miller of the Denver Broncos during Super Bowl 50 on February 7, 2016.
TIMOTHY A. CLARY//Getty Images

Cam Newton made an immediate splash upon entering the NFL in 2011, setting rookie records for passing and rushing yards and becoming the first rookie quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in a single season. But his best season came in 2015-16, when he led the Panthers to a franchise-best 15-1 and was named league MVP.

Carolina played the Denver Broncos that season in Super Bowl 50, during which 26-year-old Newton faced 39-year-old Peyton Manning. That set a record for largest age difference between two opposing Super Bowl quarterbacks. Newton was sacked six times in the defense-driven game, with Denver winning 24-10.

Patrick Mahomes

Team: Kansas City Chiefs

Years: 2020, 2021, and 2023

kansas city chiefs quarterback patrick mahomes smiles and raises his arms in celebration, wearing a grey superbowl champions shirt, following his win at super bowl liv
Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after the Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV on February 2, 2020.
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At age 27, Mahomes is already a seasoned Super Bowl veteran, having led the Chiefs to three appearances in four years. Kansas City defeated the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 in Super Bowl LIV in 2020, with Mahomes leading his team to a comeback in the final quarter.

Kansas City failed to achieve the repeat victory in Super Bowl LV the next year, falling 31-9 to the Tom Brady–led Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Nevertheless, Mahomes has had a stellar career so far, and a victory in the upcoming Super Bowl LVII would make him the first Black quarterback to win the championship twice.

Jalen Hurts

Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Year: 2023

philadelphia eagles quarterback jalen hurts in the middle of throwing a football on a football field
Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles warms up prior to the NFC Championship NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers on January 29, 2023.
Kevin Sabitus//Getty Images

Hurts has come a long way since his rookie year in 2020, when he took over starting quarterback duties from Carson Wentz late in the year. The following season he led the Eagles to a playoff berth, and the addition of wide receiver A. J. Brown in 2022 helped Philadelphia achieve its first 8-0 start in franchise history.

Hurts finished the regular season with a 14-1 record and 35 touchdowns, tying Randall Cunningham’s single-season franchise record. A win against Kansas City on Sunday would make him the fourth black quarterback in NFL history to win the Super Bowl.

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Colin McEvoy
Senior News Editor, Biography.com

Colin McEvoy joined the Biography.com staff in 2023, and before that had spent 16 years as a journalist, writer, and communications professional. He is the author of two true crime books: Love Me or Else and Fatal Jealousy. He is also an avid film buff, reader, and lover of great stories.