The Black Quarterbacks Who Revolutionized Pro Football
An acclaimed sportswriter offers an inside look at the Black quarterbacks whose skill and grit transformed the NFL
In Rocket Men, John Eisenberg offers the definitive history of Black quarterbacks in the NFL—men who shaped not only the history of football but the cause of civil rights in America. From early pioneers like Fritz Pollard to groundbreaking modern standouts like Marlin Briscoe and James “Shack” Harris, Black quarterbacks had to be twice as good as their white counterparts to get playing time—and even then, many never got that chance. That didn’t begin to change in earnest until the 1990s and the 2000s, when racist notions about what Black quarterbacks supposedly couldn’t do began to fade, paving the way for today’s stars like Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson.
Drawing on deep historical research and exclusive interviews with Black quarterbacks and players, coaches, and talent evaluators who have worked alongside them, Rocket Men is a celebration of the athletes and activists who transformed the game.