Every Black Quarterback Who Has Played in the Super Bowl

patrick mahomes looking out toward the field as he speaks for n interview with terry bradshaw
Every Black Quarterback to Play in the Super BowlGetty Images
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As Patrick Mahomes continues to rack up Super Bowl hardware, his historic legacy among Black NFL quarterbacks likewise grows. The 28-year-old is one of only three Black QBs to ever win the Super Bowl and the only one to do so three times.

On Sunday, Mahomes led the Kansas City Chiefs to back-to-back Super Bowl victories after throwing a game-winning touchdown in overtime against the San Francisco 49ers. In 2023, Mahomes outdueled Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.

All told, only eight Black quarterbacks have ever started the big game, including Mahomes and Hurts. Here’s a rundown of the elite group of Black quarterbacks who have played in a Super Bowl.

Doug Williams

Team: Washington Redskins

Year: 1987

doug williams prepares to take a snap during football game, he stands in a white, red and yellow uniform with a helmet as men in matching uniforms crouch nearby
Doug Williams of the Washington Redskins takes the snap against the Denver Broncos at Super Bowl XXII on January 31, 1988.Getty Images

Doug 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

steve mcnair runs with the football as players from the opposing team chase him, all the men wear football uniforms and helmets
Steve McNair of the Tennessee Titans runs with the ball against the St. Louis Rams during Super Bowl XXXIV on January 30, 2000.Getty Images

Steve McNair fell just one yard short of having a chance to become 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 on the final play of regulation, 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.

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.Getty Images

Donovan 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. He kept the game close, but New England ultimately won the Super Bowl matchup, 24-21.

Colin Kaepernick

Team: San Francisco 49ers

Year: 2013

colin kaepernick taps teammate lamichael james on his football helmet, both men wear padding underneath red jerseys
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick greeting teammate LaMichael James during Super Bowl XLVII on February 3, 2013.Getty Images

Years before famously taking a knee during the national anthem, Colin Kaepernick led San Francisco to Super Bowl XLVII after becoming starting quarterback in the middle of the 2012-13 season. 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 football players gather in a huddle as quarterback russell wilson speaks from the center of them, with his hand raised in the air, all the men wear blue football uniforms and helmets
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.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. He played in back-to-back league championships 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.

Cam Newton

Team: Carolina Panthers

Year: 2016

cam newton runs forward with the football while opponent von miller attempts to tackle him, both men wear football uniforms including helmets
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton passes under pressure from Von Miller of the Denver Broncos during Super Bowl 50 on February 7, 2016.Getty Images

Cam Newton made an immediate splash upon entering the NFL in 2011, setting rookie records for passing and rushing yards for a quarterback 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 season 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, 2023, and 2024

patrick mahomes smiles and raises his arms in celebration, wearing a grey superbowl champions shirt and similar light grey hat, people stand behind and around him
Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after the Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV on February 2, 2020.Getty Images

At age 28, Patrick Mahomes is already a seasoned Super Bowl veteran, having led the Chiefs to four appearances in the past five years and winning three of those. 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. But the Chiefs rebounded in 2023, winning 38-35 over the Philadelphia Eagles for Mahomes’ second bowl win.

In a rematch of 2020’s big game, San Francisco seemed poised to get revenge this year, holding Kansas City to just three points in the first half to their 10. But Mahomes and the Chiefs solidified their status as the NFL’s newest dynasty with a 25-22 victory in overtime at Super Bowl LVIII.

Jalen Hurts

Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Year: 2023

jalen hurts stands on a football field in a wide legged stretch, he wears a green and white football uniform with his helmet on the ground in front of him, other players are on the field in the distance, a large tv screen is also behind
Jalen Hurts warms up before the start of Super Bowl LVII on February 12, 2023.Getty Images

Mahomes’ 2023 win came at Jalen Hurts’ expense, as the then-24-year-old came up just short despite throwing for 304 yards and rushing for 70 more with Philadelphia.

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, before taking his team to the big game.

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