In this undated handout from the Denver Broncos, Marlin Briscoe passes the ball. Fifty years ago, Marlin Briscoe became the first black quarterback to play in the American Football League. He started five games for the Denver Broncos and was runner-up for AP’s AFL Rookie of the Year award in 1968. The Pro Football Hall of Fame calls the Omaha, Neb. native the first black quarterback in the modern era of pro football. (Denver Broncos via AP)
FILE - In this Oct. 22, 2014, file photo, Marlin Briscoe stands in front of a street that was renamed for him in Omaha, Neb. The Pro Football Hall of Fame calls the Omaha, Neb. native the first black quarterback in the modern era of pro football. He opened the door for many, including Carolina’s Cam Newton and Seattle’s Russell Wilson, who both pay homage to him. (Kent Sievers/Omaha World-Herald via AP, File)
Marlin Briscoe didn’t want to be pigeonholed simply because of stereotypes against black men. He was a star quarterback in college, and he believed he had the talent, intelligence and leadership skills to be one in the pros.