SEATTLE – It speaks to Warren Moon’s place in NFL history that, more than 15 years after he retired, his name keeps popping up when the Seattle Seahawks talk this week.
Moon, the first black quarterback inducted into the Hall of Fame, spent two years with the Seattle Seahawks in the late 1990s.
He was also Richard Sherman’s favorite NFL player as a kid. Somebody asked Sherman why Wednesday.
“Black quarterback,” Sherman said. “Wasn’t a lot of them back then.
“I was like, ooooh, there’s one black quarterback. I hope he wins.”
Moon, who works now as a TV and radio announcer for the Seahawks, is a nine-time Pro Bowl selection who is No. 7 on the all-time passing list with 49,325 yards despite the fact he played in the CFL until he was 28.
“Guys like Warren Moon set a good precedent for the type of play and the type of preparation that it takes to play at a high level,” Wilson said. “It doesn’t matter what skin color you are, it doesn’t matter what your socioeconomic status is, or whatever it may be. I think that ultimately it’s about the person, and the heart that you play with, and how you lead others, and how you play, and in clutch moments, how you respond.”
The 2015 season started with eight starting black quarterbacks, but it was quite rare in Moon’s era. Sherman said Moon paved the way people like Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who’s in the running for MVP this season.
“It’s awesome how the league’s changed in that way,” Sherman said. “There’s a lot of different types of quarterbacks out there – black, white, whatever. I don’t think it’s always been that.
“It’s always been kind of a knock on black quarterbacks. You only can run, you only can do this, they can’t throw from the pocket, they can only do play-actions and things like that and I think that rhetoric has changed a little bit.”
Wilson said that, with Moon living in the area, the two talk often – but that when they do, they talk football.
“Do we talk about being African American or not?” Wilson said. “No, not really at all. Obviously we have a great awareness of history, but that’s just educating yourself and educating others about it.
“It’s a testament to our culture and the change, and hopefully that continues.”