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With the big game around the corner, Jalen Hurts faces immense pressure. Entering Sunday, there have only been 7 black quarterbacks to start in the championship game. Jalen Hurts being eight, he sat down with the third person to break that barrier, former Eagles QB Donovan McNabb.


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McNabb admitted he was surprised the Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts so early in the 2020 NFL draft, but he had high hopes for the young quarterback from Alabama. Hurts when asked about how he handles the critics who previously doubted him, he alluded to the analogy that his gameplay is “waking people up” and “people don’t like to be woken up”. McNabb added to Hurts statement, “What you’re doing right now — you’re proving that you can do it on third down” McNabb said, “But they never wanna give you the credit, because it’s too much for them to say, ‘I was wrong'”.


Michael Vick, former Eagles quarterback, also joined the conversation on how his play impacted the view of the black quarterback in the NFL. “People come to me like ‘you changed the game’ and I say ‘nah, it was the ones before me that changed the game” Vick said. “It was all about staying true, not knowing that it was gonna pave the way for so many others. Just be you, and you can get it done.”

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The discussion was moderated by former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III, who is indeed black, but never faced the same pressure McNabb, Vick, and Hurts faced: Being a black quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, one of the most passionate fanbases in the world. Griffin III went on to ask each other them how they handled the pressure during their QB era.

“I never let anyone from the outside effect what I’m trying to do as far as my craft is concerned” McNabb said. “When you don’t look like them, sound like them, or play like them, there is nothing positive that you can say about them” McNabb referring to his critics. “I never let that affect me, it’s all about who you surround yourself with” McNabb advised. “Surround yourself with people that’s going to be critical of you, and be upfront with you and be honest.”

Michael Vick sees the leadership in Hurts and commends him for finding the fun at doing what he does, in a world full of critics and naysayers. “The quarterback position is all about being a leader, taking on that true leadership and not deviating from what you believe in” Vick said. “We go through so much, we see so much, so much scrutiny, but y’all have fun man.”

Hurts was asked how he handles today’s pressure, not only as a black quarterback, playing for the Eagles, but under the scrutiny of social media where it is so easily accessible to display your distain for someone and how easily today’s athletes get caught up and emotionally charged when responding to these internet attacks. “I’ve experienced a ton of different emotions playing the position — whether it be at Alabama– coming out of Oklahoma, and even coming here as a rookie.” Hurts said. “It like this little trait right, regardless of the circumstance, I never feel like I’m out of the fight,”