On the eve of the Thursday night clash between the Patriots and Texans Jacoby Brissett will make history if as expected he starts at quarterback for the Patriots which will mark the first time a black quarterback has ever started.

Given the current outcry and protest by teams of the social injustices that exist there may be some whom believe that this may have been long overdue and the NFL needs to be more aggressive in having minorities as starting quarterbacks.

However, it may come to shock to many that  Frederick Douglass Fritz Pollard was not only the first starting black quarterback but head coach in the NFL [1] in 1921.

From 1934 until 1946 there was an informal ban on black athletes in the NFL which was championed by George Marshall who was the owner of the Washington Redskins.   This ban was also justified by skewed scientific studies which reported that blacks were intellectually inferior and could not comprehend the complexities of the game.

It wasn’t until 1950 when George Taliaferro became the second black quarterback when in joined the New York Yanks and three years later in 1953 Willie Thrower became the third.

The major milestone for a black quarterback was set by Doug Williams in Super Bowl XXII where the Redskins defeated the Broncos 42 -10 and Williams was named MVP. At the time of this win Williams was the only black quarterback in the NFL.

There certainly others who come to mind such as Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham, Reggie Collier, Bernard, Quarles, Tony Robinson, Willie Totten and Rodney Peete who have impacted the game we know and love.

If you would like more details then I would highly recommend you reading the article referenced here.

References:
[1] – historic information extracted from The History of Black Quarterback in the NFL by Chase Stuart.