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The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register


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Black History Month feature: Doug Williams


Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson are Pro Bowl caliber Black quarterbacks that thrive in today’s NFL. However, there was a time where Black quarterbacks in the league were non-existent. Then came Doug Williams.

Doug Williams started off his career at a well known historical black college called Grambling State University. During his time here Williams won the Black College Player of the Year award two times. Besides his individual accomplishments, he also led the Tigers to three SWAC Championships. Williams finished with a 36-7 record as a four-year starter.

Williams was one of the most talented quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen. Williams was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he made the 1978 NFL All-Rookie Team. 

Williams was traded after a few seasons to the then Washington Redskins. In Washington, Williams made history for Black quarterbacks. 

Williams won the 1988 Super Bowl defeating the John Elway-led Denver Broncos. In Super Bowl XXII, Williams won the Super Bowl MVP throwing for four touchdowns and 340 yards. With this ring, Williams became the first Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl. 

Williams opened so many doors for future Black quarterbacks in the NFL. Showing owners and general managers around the country that Black men can also throw the ball just as good as anyone else, if not better. 

Williams was not finished with football after the day he retired. 

Grambling State and Williams were not done with what they originally started. In 1998, Williams became the head coach of the GSU Tigers. Here he would go on to lead this team to a 52-18 record over six seasons. 

Williams knows that his influence does not stop the racism that goes on in this world. Despite inspiring the upcoming generations, Williams knows there is more that has to be done to fix this issue.

“Systemic racism impacts every aspect of society. Systemic racism is why white rioters could do what they did without getting killed by police. Racism is why some people portray Black Lives Matter as violent when they’re not. Racism also figures into the thinking of some owners when they’re hiring head coaches. Racism is a part of all aspects of American life,” Williams said.

Williams served as the Senior Vice President of Player Development and has been promoted to Senior Advisor for the Washington Football Team. 

Williams believes there is more room for Black executives and coaches in this business. He believes there is not enough Black representation in the NFL. He hopes for more people like himself to be sitting alongside in the future. 

“There’s a lot of guys out there that deserve an opportunity to be coaching in the National Football League… I worked in Jacksonville, I worked in Tampa and I worked in here, and when I see guys working and compare them to some of the guys I’ve seen over the last three years at the summit, there’s no doubt in my mind, it’s about an opportunity. And it’s unfortunate, usually in the NFL, it’s a buddy-buddy deal. Some guys who really deserve to be up here don’t get it,” Williams said.

Doug Williams has always been one to pave the way for future generations and he looks to continue to influence more day by day. 


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