Updated: December 11, 2013


By:- Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter

At the close of another great football season we must look at what has happened this year in the National Football League pertaining to African American quarterbacks. It was an historical year on many fronts but as Professor Fred Whitted of Winston Salem State University states many times. “We must tell our own story”.

camaIn 2013 it may be the same old story with only six Black starting quarterbacks in the NFL by week 14. There are currently 30 teams in the NFL. The number of Black quarterbacks had reached a record high of ten in week seven. This was a record and these young athletes created another record of 7-1, with two quarterbacks on the bench injured. It will happen again in the near future.

Sooner or later this will change because there are so many young Black quarterbacks playing at the college level. There is something wrong with this picture in the professional ranks when over 65% of college quarterbacks are African American. What happened? Do these men forget how to play the position when they ascend to the professional level?

Eleven starting quarterbacks have been injured this year including Michael Vick, Jason Campbell, Aaron Pryor, and Josh Freeman.v

Tony Romo is the one starting quarterback of Latino decent with the Dallas Cowboys. The other Latino is Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets who did not play this year due to a major arm injury. Sanchez might have lost his job to rookie starting quarterback Geno Smith.

In over 90 years it was o.k. for a white quarterback to take the starting job from a Black quarterback. From Fritz Pollard in 1919 to Willie Thrower of the Chicago Bears in the 1930′s to George Taliaferro of the New York Yanks in 1950′s to Marlin Briscoe of the Denver Broncos of the 1960′s. They were all replaced or asked to change position before their time.

opThis continued in the 1970′s when Jefferson Joe Street Gilliam of the Pittsburgh Steelers was replaced by Terry Bradshaw. Gilliam had a 4-1-1 record at the time Bradshaw stepped in. Even if a Black quarterback won the Super Bowl there was no guarantee that somebody would replace him.

In 1986 Doug Williams of the Washington Football Club was removed a year after he won the Super Bowl and won the MVP of that record breaking game.

James Harris-Los Angeles Rams, Randal Cunningham-Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings, Warren Moon-Minn. Vikings and Houston Oilers among others had to constantly fight for their jobs, even if they had great years.

The Oakland Raiders never gave Tennessee State quarterback Eldridge Dickey a chance in 1968. Neither did the Boston Patriots with Onree Jackson the very same year. Both of these men were college all stars.ds

Donavan McNabb- Phila. Eagles – The Washington Football Club,  and Michael Vick-Atlanta Falcons- Phila. Eagles lost their jobs due to injury. This was at a time when sports writers, coaches, and fans stated that no starting quarterback should lose his job because of an injury. Nobody complained about McNabb’s or Vick’s loss.

Then in 2012 the unthinkable happened a Black quarterback replaced a starting white quarterback in San Francisco. This was the first time in NFL History. The Mouse (ESPN), The Bay Area Media, and the mainstream football fan base were not amused and made it known.

 caoForty Niners starting quarterback Alex Smith got his bell rung and had to sit out three games. Colin Kaepernick stepped in and won four games in a row. He even guided the Niners to the NFC Western Division Title. It was not enough.

 The controversy was on and the old rule of not losing a starting quarterbacks job due to injury popped up conveniently for the media and the fans. It was o.k. for McNabb and Vick to lose their jobs but not ok for Alex Smith. It was o.k. for Aaron Pryor and Josh Freeman to lose their jobs but not Alex Smith. The hypocrisy is staring you right in the face after 90 years. San Francisco’s Head Coach Jim Harbaugh stood his ground and kept Kaepernick at the quarterback position.

Its 2013 football fans are still talking about the move when NFL teams have replaced Black quarterbacks time and time again. So what was the difference as long as the team won? As former head coach Herm Edwards stated “YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME, HELLO” .

The mainstream media tried to trash Kaepernick stating that he was the continuing saga of the thug element in the league with his tattoos all over his body and wearing his oversized baseball cap. They did not know that every tattoo on him was a Bible verse. They questioned his work ethic; they questioned his speed and questioned his ability to read progressions down the field.  Kaepernick answered all the critics by guiding his team to the Super Bowl and almost winning the championship. That does not matter he replaced Alex Smith, he replaced a Caucasian quarterback and some people still don’t like it and will not forget it.

The 2013-2014 draft, like the three previous years will have another Black Heisman Trophy canadate; quarterback Jameis Winston from Florida State University who is a red shirt freshman and an ACC All Star. Right behind Winston is signal caller Teddy Bridgewater of the University of Louisville.

These African Americans will be questioned on their ability to play in the National Football League.

The question will be asked if both players have the mental ability to deal with the shenanigans that Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III had to endure.jwa

These talented young Black males will have to deal with Yahoo sports writers, scouts, coaches, owners, and general managers stating that Winston did not completely tell the truth about the alleged sexual encounter on campus, BEFORE HE WAS A STUDENT at Florida State University. Just as some sports talking heads questioned Cam Newton’s tenure at Auburn University.

While, these same sports intelligencia will state that Teddy Bridgewater did not compete against tough teams nor had a tough schedule. By the way The Florida State University Seminoles are undefeated and will be playing in the National title game on January 6, 2014 against the Auburn Tigers.

One thing is certain both of these men are intelligent and will walk through the NFL mine field of summer camp and spring training without tribulations. They both will be a great addition to any team in the NFL.

The double standard used by this same news media will not apply to Johnny “Football” Manziel of Texas A and M University no matter what his final statistics are. The Yahoo sports writers, scouts, the coaches, and general managers will not question Manziel’s football abilities or his off the field transgressions.

They should because they all will be rookies. All rookies experience not knowing who their 2nd, 3rd, or safety valve receiver is. This is called reading your (progressions). They have to read the field faster than the college game. It takes time, just ask Matt McGoin-Oakland, Matt Barkley-Phila., Mike Glennon-Tampa Bay, Geno Smith-N.Y. Jets, and E.J. Manuel-Buffalo.

This year Cam Newton this year has proven this point. The Carolina Panthers improving with an eight game winning streak and a possible playoff berth.

It is sad to note that there are more Black quarterbacks on the bench than  starting AGAIN in 2013.

This is what African American quarterbacks have to deal with year in and year out in the National Football League.

Black quarterbacks are in bold letteringdsa

1) Arizona- Carson Palmer

2) Atlanta- Matt Ryan

3) Baltimore- Joe Flacco

4) Buffalo- E.J. MANUEL

5) Carolina- CAM NEWTON

6) Chicago- Jay Cutler-Josh McCown

7) Cincinnati- Andy Dalton

8) Cleveland- JASON CAMPBELL

9) Dallas- Tony Romo

10) Denver- Payton Manning

11) Detroit- Matthew Stafford

12) Green Bay- Aaron Rogers

13) Houston- Matt Schaub-

14) Indianapolis- Andrew Luck

15) Jacksonville- Luke McCown

16) Kansas City- Alex Smith

17) Miami- Ryan Tannehill

18) Minnesota- Christian Ponder-Matt Cassell

19) New England- Tom Brady

20) New Orleans- Drew Brees

21) New York Giants- Eli Manning

22) New York Jets- GENO SMITH

23) Oakland- Matt McGloin-TERRELL PRYOR

24) Philadelphia- Kevin Foles

25) Pittsburgh- Ben Roethelisberger

26) San Diego- Phillip Rivers

27) San Francisco- COLIN KAEPERNICK


29) St. Louis – Sam Bradford

30) Tampa Bay- Mike Glennon

31) Tennessee- Ryan Fitzpatrick

32) Washington- ROBERT GRIFFIN IIIcq

Starting Black quarterbacks that are not active

1. Vince Young

2. Joe Webb

3. Dennis Dixon

4. Byron Leftwich

5. Charlie Bach


Black quarterbacks on the bench

1. Dominique Davis- Atl.

2. Josh Johnson- Cinn.jj

3. David Garrard- New York Jets

4. Terrell Pryor- Oakl.

5. Tyrod Taylor- Balt.

6. Seneca Wallace- Green Bay

7. Thaddeus Lewis-Buffalo

8. Josh Freeman- Minn.

9. Michael Vick- Phila.

10. Travaris Jackson- Seattle

11. Vincent Jackson-Tampa Bay


Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove on Disabled Community Activist. Email at

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

One Comment

  1. G.W. Common Sense

    January 18, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Why does everything have to be about white racism? If you are going to piss and moan and write about how black quarters are judged (and treated) then why not consider this?! Why is it that any race in this country, primarily black people, can make jokes, comment, or sing about white people in a derogatory since and it is treated as just comedy, or expressing freedom of speech?? Toby Gerhart was judged by his color before he ever stepped onto an NFL football field. An article in bleacher Report said, and I quote, “Toby Gerhart is a white football player in the wrong position for white people” Why aren’t white people crying, and articles written about that? And this is just one example of reverse racism in this country that is at epidemic level and is brushed over because it pertains to bias against white people!! I am not a racist, nor do I condone racism, against ANY race (including the white)… but consider this, when it gets to the point where you have to pinpoint a single position in one sport to cry racism, then you would have to also consider the fact that it may not be racism after all… Maybe what happened when Seneca Wallace (black QB) replaced Aaron Rodgers (white QB)when Rodgers got injured, may not be a coincident. How did that game turn out….lol!!! How does it feel!! haha

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