Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

October 13, 1979

Article selected by Nicholas Matson, undergraduate student at Manhattan College.

On October 13, 1979, the New York Amsterdam News ran an article by Nelson George regarding the first National Football League game to feature two black starting quarterbacks, Doug Williams for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Vin Evans for the Chicago Bears. While Williams led the Bucs to a 17-14 victory, George wrote that “the real winner of the day were Black athletes and sports fans. For years the symbol of leadership in pro football—the quarterback position was denied to us, often with the implication that Blacks weren't smart enough to play it. Well, that old chestnut is dead and it’s sad it took so long to go.”

The black press covered Doug Williams’ college and professional career extensively. For example, this New York Amsterdam News article, “NCAA Race Bias: A Case for Doug Williams” (December 3, 1977), notes that despite a standout career at Grambling University, Williams was underrated by media commentators and scouts.

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