In honor of Black History Month, Michael Vick and the Atlanta Falcons have released a tribute video to black quarterbacks of the past and present.
Vick played six seasons with the Falcons and was considered the most dynamic player in the NFL. In the video he speaks of legends past and the impact black quarterbacks have on today’s game.
The full transcript is below, finishing with a powerful “That’s progress” message from Vick.
“When black quarterbacks play at MVP levels and lead their teams to Super Bowls, you can’t help but to acknowledge the legends who have come before them.
It’s like living football history.
When I watch these QBs today, I see myself. The descendants of great QBs who preceded me.
I have so much respect and love for guys like Doug Williams, Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham. They could beat you in every kind of way. They carried themselves with dignity, class, and style, and no matter what, they found a way to win.
Because that’s what defines a quarterback. Not the color of his skin, but what kind of leader and winner he is.
It’s never easy being a pioneer; that’s what they were. They helped to give me a chance, and I’ve tried to continue that tradition by opening up doors for guys like Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson.
My game evolved from the ones who came before me, and I like to think that I’ve carried the mantle, inspiring the guys who’ve come after me and passing the baton.
Now, you can never separate the black from the quarterback. To play this position in this league is to always find yourself under the microscope. You’re the leader, the face of the franchise, and that will always carry an added weight.
Being a black quarterback is a badge of honor, a point of pride. We’re a part of the greatest revolution in modern football history.”
It took way too long, and it took guys being twice as good to get half the credit.
But things are changing
Ask any fan in the league which player they want leading their team, and there’s a good chance, they’ll pick a quarterback who looks like me.