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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Commentary: Black QBs finally getting what they are owed

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It is about time that Black quarterbacks get paid what they deserve.

For far too long, these talented athletes have been undervalued and underpaid despite their unquestionable skills and leadership on the gridiron; however, change appears to be coming.

Contract signings this year have defied the status quo. The two highest paid contracts in National Football League history went to Black quarterbacks.

In only the third year of his contract, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts led the Birds to the February 2023 Superbowl, only to be outlasted by another extraordinary young Black quarterback and future Hall of Famer, Patrick Mahomes.

After the Superbowl, Hurts was in great spirits, thanking his teammates for allowing him to be a leader in the locker room. A few months after the Superbowl, Hurts signed a five-year deal worth $255 million. Hurts’ deal made him the highest-paid player in NFL history. It is also worth noting that Hurts’ management team is comprised of solely women, making them the first women to negotiate such a deal in the history of the sport.

Hurts remained the highest-paid player in NFL history only for a few weeks as Lamar Jackson, quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens, negotiated a deal to become the next highest-paid player in league history.

Black quarterbacks finalizing deals

Black quarterbacks
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Lamar Jackson speak during a news conference at the NFL football team’s training center, Thursday, May 4, 2023, in Owings Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

The contract is a five-year deal worth $260 million. The contract came after months of Baltimore’s front office paying other talents guaranteed contracts while stalling out Lamar. It is also worth noting that Lamar Jackson represented himself in striking the deal.

These recent contract signings give hope to new Black quarterbacks entering the league, including Indianapolis Colts’ newest QB, Anthony Richardson.

“You play 12 or 14 years in this league and you’re an outstanding quarterback, you’re gonna make a billion dollars. A billion. A billion.” Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, emphasized to Richardson.

It is refreshing to see the NFL finally acknowledge the value of these quarterbacks and compensate them properly. This is not only a win for Black quarterbacks but also a step in the right direction in breaking down racial barriers in professional sports across the globe.

Contact multi-media staff writer Noral Parham at 317-762-7846 or email at NoralP@IndyRecorder.com. Follow him on Twitter @NoralParham.

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