Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts will make history Sunday when they become the first two Black quarterbacks to start a single Super Bowl as the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Philadelphia Eagles.
For Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon, he had to make sure it hadn’t been done before.
Moon accomplished a lot in his stellar NFL career. He spent five seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League and won five Grey Cups. He joined the Houston Oilers in 1984 and played there until 1993. He then played for the Minnesota Vikings from 1994 to 1996. He would spend two years with the Seattle Seahawks and finish his career with two more seasons with the Chiefs.
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After nine Pro Bowls and an NFL Offensive Player of the Year award, his legacy was cemented in 2006 when he became the first Black quarterback to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Moon told Fox News Digital in a recent interview that he had to check the record books again just to make sure the anticipated matchup hadn’t already been done before.
"I was watching the AFC Championship, and when the Chiefs won, that was the first thing on the top of my head. I’m like, ‘Wait a minute, has this ever happened before? There’s going to be two Black quarterbacks in the Super Bowl?’ And then I started going back over the Super Bowls because I knew there was a number of Black quarterbacks that had played it but never against each other. So, then I just got really proud there for a moment," he said.
The former superstar said he was watching the game with fellow Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis and five-time Pro Bowler Mark Clayton when the Chiefs solidified the victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.
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"We all just started high-fiving each other and just were really happy for the fact that this is really finally happening because it is history," Moon said. "And for me, I just had a sense of pride that everything that I went through trying to play the position of quarterback, people telling me that I couldn’t, happen to go to another country, all the different things I went through on my journey, and then the guys before me like Shack Harris and Marlin Briscoe and Joe Gilliam, and knowing what those guys went through, it was just a very proud moment for me that all of our trailblazing have not gone in vain."
Moon didn’t think the storyline would add any extra pressure to either quarterback.
Mahomes is set to appear in his third Super Bowl and is going after his second ring. Hurts is after his first ring in his first Super Bowl. The rest is just outside chatter.
"I think if anything, it lets them relax a little bit," Moon explained to Fox News Digital. "They don’t feel like they’re the only one in the game, that they’re the only Black quarterback in the game. One of those guys is going to win. They both have great respect for one another. I think it’s more of a history-type thing to the fans and to the media. It’s a great storyline to talk about this week, just like the Kelce brothers and Andy Reid going to play against his former team. A lot of great storylines to this game, but this is pretty historic because it’s never happened before."
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With the NFL world putting more scrutiny on giving more minorities roles in the coaching and front-office ranks, Moon said he hopes the Super Bowl moment will lead to a ripple effect across the league in all its aspects.
"I’m hoping so. We did get another African-American coach hired this year, and we had an African-American general manager going to the Tennessee Titans," he said. "There’s some progress being made. It’s slow, but it is progress. We just have to keep trucking along."
"I think the more we can get African Americans, either front-office people or coaches or whatever, in front of owners and let them get a chance to see who these guys are and what their personalities are all about, I think that has a lot to do with it because look at the Houston Texans hire (DeMeco Ryans). He played for the Houston Texans. They know him, they’re comfortable with him, they know his character and they know his personality. That made it easy for them to pick him as a head coach because of that familiarity. That’s what it’s going to take for other African-American coaches to get those opportunities because you have to remember they’re being hired by White men, and you’re going to usually hire whoever you feel comfortable. Unless they have that comfort with you, you’re probably not going to get the job over somebody else."
The Chiefs and Eagles will meet in Super Bowl LVII on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET. The game can be seen on FOX.