Doug Williams was a trailblazer with the Redskins.

Happy Black History Month, Super Bowl Style

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Some of the biggest events every year in Indianapolis surround the Indiana Black Expo,  and this year IBE is joined in that arena by the current week-long Super Bowl extravaganza.   It seems only appropriate, then, to kick off this happy Black History Month of February by celebrating some of the important “firsts” by African-American athletes in the NFL and in the Super Bowl in particular.    Here is just part of what is a very long list of accomplishments:

  • 1920 – Fritz Pollard and Bobby Marshall become the first African-American players in the NFL.
  • 1920 – Fritz Pollard becomes the first African-American coach in the NFL.
  • 1965 – Burl Toler named first African-American official in the NFL.
  • 1966 – Lowell W. Perry signs on with CBS as the first African-American NFL announcer.
  • 1975 – Franco Harris wins the Super Bowl MVP award, the first African-American to do so.
  • 1988 – Johnny Grier becomes the first African-American referee in the NFL.
  • 1988 – Doug Williams is the first African-American quarterback to win the Super Bowl.
  • 1989 – Art Shell becomes the first African-American coach in the modern NFL.
  • 2007 – Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith become the first African-American head coaches to reach the Super Bowl.
  • 2007 – Dungy becomes the first African-American coach to win the  Super Bowl.
  • 2008 – Jerry Reese is the first African-American general manager to win the Super Bowl.


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