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The Great Black Hope: Doug Williams, Vince Evans, and the Making of the Black Quarterback

Louis Moore

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Ethnic minorities & multicultural studies, Sociology: sport & leisure, American football

From a leading scholar of sports and race, a story of two pioneering Black quarterbacks--one who became the first to win a Super Bowl, and one who couldn't make it in the racist world of the NFL.

There is no position in pro sports more recognizable, lucrative, and important than NFL quarterback. But while the league itself has always been integrated, quarterbacking was the exclusive domain of white players for many years. When Doug Williams and Vince Evans arrived in the league in the late 1970s, Black players were often dismissed as lacking the intelligence and leadership skills of a QB. They got death threats, faced racist questions, and knew that a single mistake could end their careers at any moment.

In this book, Grand Valley State professor Louis Moore tells the twin stories of Vince Evans--the electrifying player who should have succeeded, but could not overcome his numerous obstacles--and of Doug Williams--the star of the Washington Redskins, and the first Black quarterback to become a champion. He shows how easily Williams' triumphant story could have gone wrong, becoming another tale of supreme talent that the world only got to glimpse, and how his success changed the game and the country.

A skillful blend of game-time drama and social commentary, this book captures one of the unheralded heroes of the NFL, and all that he meant, both on the field and off.

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