In the realm of NFL quarterbacks, Patrick Mahomes stands out not just for his extraordinary skills but for the inspiration he brings to a diverse generation. From his signature no-look passes to awe-inspiring deep bombs, Mahomes has become a symbol of achievement and perseverance, particularly for young minds of all races.
Ahead of the Super Bowl, Mahomes openly embraced his multi-racial identity—born to a white mother and an African-American father—as a powerful message to empower young individuals in pursuing their dreams, regardless of background or ethnicity. In an interview with ESPN, Mahomes emphasized the importance of demonstrating that anyone, irrespective of their roots, can reach their aspirations with dedication and hard work.
“The best thing about it is you’re showing kids that no matter where you grow up, what race you are, that you can achieve your dream,” Mahomes explained. “It doesn’t matter where you come from. It doesn’t matter if you’re a baseball player or basketball player, follow your dreams. Whatever your dreams are, put the work ethic in, and you can be there at the end of the day.”
As Mahomes geared up for the Super Bowl in Miami, he joined a select group as the seventh African-American quarterback to start in the championship game, according to ESPN. Marlin Briscoe, a pioneer in pro football’s modern era and the first black player to start at quarterback, expressed immense pride in Mahomes’ achievements.
“I have to be honest about it: It does make me proud to watch him play,” Briscoe shared with The Undefeated. “The things I had to deal with and others had to deal with, when you see a young kid like this come along, it makes you feel good about … the doors that you helped open. There have been a lot of talented [black quarterbacks]. That’s for sure. But this kid … there’s just something about him.”
Mahomes, acknowledging his sense of history, mentioned his grandfather’s admiration for Doug Williams and his experience meeting Michael Vick, who played under Andy Reid with the Eagles. Reflecting on the NFL greats who paved the way for today’s black quarterbacks, Mahomes expressed gratitude.
“My grandpa was a Redskins fan because of Doug Williams, and the way that he was able to be the Super Bowl MVP and do all those different things was [impressive],” Mahomes noted to ESPN. “Having those guys to pave the way before me and let me be in this seat at this podium at this Super Bowl, it’s amazing and I’m glad they did that for us.”
The admiration for Mahomes extends beyond his remarkable on-field performances. NFL legends, including Doug Williams, have lauded Mahomes for his consistency, quick adaptation to the game, and ability to lead with precision. Mahomes, surrounded by a cohort of accomplished African-American quarterbacks like Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, and Kyler Murray, is not just redefining the quarterback position but paving the way for a more diverse and inclusive future in the NFL.