Black History Moment: Super Bowl Sunday edition – Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

by Feb 8, 2021Blog0 comments

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!  If you’re watching tonight’s Super Bowl game, today’s black history moment will highlight two NFL teams that made the Super Bowl: The Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  For Chiefs fans, congratulations on your team’s second arrival to the Super Bowl!  For Bucs fans, be proud that your team is the first NFL team to advance to a Super Bowl game that will be played in their home stadium!

Regardless of the team you’re rooting for, below are a couple of black sports history tidbits for you to appreciate:
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Willie Lanier, first black middle linebacker in professional football

As a top football prospect from historically black Morgan State University in Baltimore, the Kansas City Chiefs picked Willie Lanier in the second round of the 1967 NFL Draft.  Willie’s signing with the Chiefs, made him the first African-American middle linebacker in professional football.  During his NFL career, Willie:
* Played for 11 seasons (1967-1977) as middle linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs
* Was named All-Pro/All-AFC/All-NFC every year from 1968-1975
* Led the Chiefs to an upset victory against the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV (1970)
* Legacy: Shattered the stereotype about African Americans being unintelligent to play the middle linebacker position

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: First NFL team to reach the Super Bowl with a trio of Black assistant coaches

* The history making trio of Bucs coaches include offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, and special teams coach Keith Armstrong

* The Bucs is also the first team in NFL history to hire two women as full-time coaches
* Significance: Tampa Bay Bucs established an example for other NFL teams to attain, in regards to diversity & inclusion matters in hiring


Pro Football Hall of Fame – Willie Lanier

NFL Films – The Top 100: NFL’s Greatest Players (#53: Willie Lanier)
Associated Press (AP) news article: “Black Coordinators make Super Bowl History with Buccaneers”
WFLA News Channel 8 video: “Bucs Make History with Diverse Coaching Staff”