Talk of Fame Network
Doug Williams was the first African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl … and he was the only African-American quarterback to win one until Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks hoisted the Lombardi Trophy 26 years later.
Surprised? Williams is.
“I really am,” the former Washington star said on our latest Talk of Fame Network radio broadcast, “because, number one, a few years ago we had so many young African-American quarterbacks playing well – from the late Steve McNair to (Daunte) Culpepper, all those guys … Michael Vick. They were playing well, (and) quite naturally, you expected it was going to happen again. It came close with Steve (in Super Bowl XXXIV), and, unfortunately, it didn’t happen.
“But at the same time, I liked what happened after Russell won (and) was part of a Super Bowl-winning team. There wasn’t a lot of emphasis put on it, and I think that’s where we should be. It’s fortunate now that we can go forward. Now that Russell has won it, there wasn’t a lot of emphasis put on it and if it happens again – hopefully it does somewhere down the line — it wouldn’t be an issue.”
Williams was part of the Super Bowl XXII-winning Washington Redskins, the MVP behind a 35-point second-period eruption that buried Denver. He later went on to coach and serve as a talent evaluator and now works as personnel executive with the Washington Redskins.
Though most of his pro years were spent with Tampa Bay, Williams will forever be linked to Washington and the success of African-American quarterbacks like Vick, McNair and Wilson. And while he’s happy that we’ve moved so far forward that Wilson’s race wasn’t an issue at Super Bowl XLVIII, he’s not convinced the league has gotten “over the hump” where prejudice doesn’t exist at the position.
“I’m not so sure it’s all the way over the hump,” he said. “What I’m saying is that it’s not as big an issue today as it has been. I don’t think we’ve come that far that it’s a forgotten thing. I think the media and a lot of people who are covering it probably keep a lot of it to themselves more than anything. They don’t put it out there like they used to.”