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I have to admit that although I love to watch it and talk trash with my buddies, I don’t know that much about football.

I grew up in Louisiana and only focus on the Saints and LSU mostly because on game days my mom dresses up in full Saints regalia and stands in front of the TV and screams BREEZY for Drew Brees.

Because I work in news I do know the players who break through beyond sports like the Manning brothers, Richard Sherman, obviously and so on.

However, I had no idea until almost game time that Seattle’s quarterback was black. I had no idea who Seattle’s quarterback even was.

On Saturday I was broadcasting from Super Bowl Boulevard, better known as Times Square when I saw someone behind me holding up one of those giant floating heads that you see so much on sports channels.

I turned and asked who it was. A young man no more than 16-years-old yelled, Russell Wilson. I didn’t think twice about it and kept broadcasting; still didn’t know he was the quarterback.

And on Sunday I was sitting in the media trailer outside the stadium watching the pre-game stories about the players when all of a sudden it dawned on me that Russell Wilson was the Seahawks quarterback and he was black.

I had not heard any hoopla about him. As part of my job I have to read a lot and had not seen any articles about him. And when I got back to the studio on Sunday night I opened this email from a colleague which reads:


 I have an interesting observation for you.

 Russell Wilson is now only the second African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl.

 However, this time I got no sense that the African-American community was rallying around him to win the same way as with Doug Williams over 25 years ago.

 There was virtually no discussion of his race in the media leading up to the game.  It’s certainly a milestone, so why did this accomplishment seemingly fly under the radar?

 Is this a sign of progress or an oversight? Thought you may like to discuss it on your show.

 I think the difference between now and 26 years ago when Doug Williams did it is significant.



Quite honestly, I didn’t even know how to answer my colleague who works in our Washington bureau and who apparently knows a lot more about football than I do.

I didn’t know much about Russell Wilson nor most of the other players because it’s not my particular interest and because it wasn’t my assignment to cover the game, but to cover the security, the festivities and the fans leading up to it. Not the players.

I did notice that most of the chatter before the game on game day was about Sherman and Manning rather than Manning and Wilson.

Perhaps Russell Wilson was overshadowed by Peyton Manning and Richard Sherman.

And perhaps we really have made progress that a black quarterback winning the Super Bowl is a big deal without being such a big deal.

And would that be such a bad thing?

You tell me.

16 thoughts on “Have Black Players Leveled the Playing Field? Don Lemon Says Maybe

  1. joe Valdez on said:

    This Don Lemon is a disgrace. He sticks his sexual organ into his White Boyfriends anus full of feces and in return his White Boyfriend stick his slung into his filthy A Hole full of feces so hard that it goes to Don’s brain and makes him confused .
    Tom Joyner hired this moron because The Obama’s asked him to in order to push their Home agenda on Blacks & Hispanics

  2. EvieHartmanvet on said:

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  3. Don,you are 100% WRONG on this matter. Everyone knew about Russell Wilson, all of the sports media have been talking about him for a long time.Perhaps you should really do more research into your stories before you put out FALSE accusations about the media!!!!!! Do not make every single issue RACIAL when there is creditable facts to the story.Maybe you should start watching more sports before entering into a dialogue about sports?!?!?!

  4. Manning is a legend and deserves to overshadow all and Sherman took the hype from everyone with his mouth. As for this subject I thought it was settled by Doug WIlliams over 20 years ago. The NFL, NBA, MLB, Corporations don’t care about color only talent and what you can do and how good you are at it. WIlson is a great young man, on and off the field and will be a future overshadowing figure in the future, but if you know anything about him he always wants to be overshadow by the one and only Jesus Christ. That’s what makes him a great young man!

  5. Glad you brought that up this morning. No one mentioned this Quarterback thru-out the season. I heard a lot about Peyton, but not Wilson. Probably because he was black.

    • Mac Ben on said:

      He is NOT BLACK and Russ Wilson got “booKoo” press in each of his two seasons in the league!! Stop watching BET and Lifetime all day and you might learn something.

  6. Justice on said:

    Tom Joyner, why do you have Don commentating on your show. He just proved that he do not listen to your show. If he did, he would of knew who Russel Wilson was.

      • joe Valdez on said:

        You are so full into yourself you must be a transversite or a queer. Take a hike you idiot

      • Joe are you still in the closet and mad that you haven’t had the guts to come out and let the world know your true self. It’s okay to love another man and you don’t have to be ashamed that you’re gay. Joy is right your grammar is at the level of a dime store crack dealer, but that’s okay you be who you be dat okay!! Joe please do yourself and others a favor and take your homophobic second grade education and stick with comment on 50 cents or Snopp Dog’s new album instead of commenting on things that you obviously have issues with like your sexual preference!

    • Curtis on said:

      Agree 100%. I’ve been wondering how long Don Lame-mon will continue to provide commentary on the TJMS. I find that the majority of his so called insight is not very profound at all. Whenever his segment begins he does makes me think… about changing the channel. As a responsible journalist , covering ANY angle of the Super Bowl, knowing who the starting quarterbacks are should be the minimum standard. Russel Wilson has been the talk of the NFL since his rookie season last year. So, did Don miss that too ? He would have been better off commenting on the Puppy Bowl.

  7. Don,
    You need to come out from under the rock you have been broadcasting from. To not know who the starting QB for either team that is for an event you are covering(regardless of the angle you are covering) is something I would not let my colleagues know regardless of the players race. There has been a lot written about Russell Wilson the person and the athlete. Starting from his days at North Carolina State University where he was a two sport star until his senior and his football scholar was revoked so the team could play a white kid. And Russell went on to lead the University of Wisconsin to the Big 10 championship while setting the single season FBS record for passing efficiency (191.8) and and the 2012 Rose Bowl.
    As far as Wilson being a backdrop to Manning and Sherman sad to say his persona/story was not the hot story of the Super Bowl. Sherman’s end of game comments after the victory over San Francisco and his comments about Manning’s passes is what the your fellow members of the press decided what would sell so that is what they went with for the past two weeks. And we know that news outlets favorite motto is to go with the story that sells. As a black who grew up in Montgomery, AL it is good to see that race was not an issue just talent. Race has kept many African Americans from leading teams at all level of football and today it is good to see talent is now the overriding factor. Don’t get me wrong I know race still is a factor in some parts of American sports and society but the progress is refreshing.

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