In Superbowl LVII we had the first ever two Black quarterbacks faceoff but it didn’t feel like it. Jalen Hurts is obviously Black. He looks like a Black man, both parents are Black, has an all Black female management team, and he’s a member of the historic Black fraternity, Omega Psi Phi.
Patrick Mahomes, on the other hand, has a Black father and a white mother but is so light skin that he can pass for white. His manager is a white male. His wife is white. And he does commercials for Head & Shoulders, a shampoo and conditioner company that advertises for coarse (mostly white people) hair.
Being very light skin, having a white manager, a white wife, and Head & Shoulders commercials does not make you lesser of a Black man if you don’t want it to, but it does allow you to pass for whiteness if you want to. And that’s the problem I have with Mahomes, he gives me “passing” vibes whether he directly or unconsciously does it.
Leading up to the Super Bowl I saw many memes on Facebook verifying that Mahomes is Black with photos of Mahomes being with his Black father. I don’t think we would need those memes if Mahomes participated in something of the Black culture like having a Black wife or a Black manager, or just wearing a diamond chain on his arrival to the games.
It would feel more historic if it was Jalen Hiurts vs Lamar Jackson simply because there’s no doubt about it that Lamar Jackson is Black. Jackson can’t pass for whiteness. Jackson can’t do commercials for Head & Shoulders because he has kinky hair. Jackson wears diamond chains to his games. Even though diamonds are cliche and probably a waste of money, it’s such a huge part of the Black culture that doing it makes Black people feel some sort of comfort around you.
Given that Mahomes’ father played nearly ten years in Major League Baseball makes me wonder how much of a Black experience Mahomes had? Given the fact that his father being a successful Black athlete chose a white woman in the 90s gives me a certain vibe about him too. I imagine Mahomes went to preppy white schools his whole life given the fact that his wife is his high school sweetheart. Another thing about his wife is that she seems to be an annoying privileged white girl who probably keeps Mahomes’ blackness in check.
At the end of the day I don’t know Patrick Mahomes from a pile of hay. This is all my speculation. But I guess the closest thing we’ll get to two Black quarterbacks in the Super Bowl is one of them having a drop of Black blood in their veins. Just as the closest thing we’ll get to having a Black president is former President Barack Obama who was half white. At least he looked Black and had a Black wife. If Obama was as light as Mahomes and had a white wife then would we really feel like we had a Black president?
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