Back in 1953 with the Chicago Bears, Willie Thrower became the first African-American to play quarterback in the NFL.
Marlin Briscoe became the first African-American starting quarterback in the AFL -- for a brief five-game window in 1968 -- before the Denver Broncos shifted him to wide receiver. Within two years, James "Shack" Harris was the first African-American drafted as an NFL quarterback, by the Buffalo Bills in the eighth round.
Nearly half a century later, the Seattle Seahawks are bringing five African-American quarterbacks to training camp.
"We call ourselves 'The Jackson 5,'" Russell wrote Wednesday on The MMQB. "I play the role of Michael Jackson."
After just two years in the league, Wilson believes NFL coaches, scouts and executives now judge players on what the latter can do as opposed to race. Wilson has also helped shift perspective on height discrimination at the position.
"I believe the culture has changed in America, and in the NFL," Wilson continued. "Nowhere can you see that more than in Seattle. I can tell you without reservation that (owner) Paul Allen and our GM, John Schneider, and our coach, Pete Carroll, don't care what race you are, what color you are. They only care about performance."
The Seahawks aren't alone. The Jets are a good bet to carry three African-American quarterbacks on their opening-day roster (Geno Smith, Michael Vick and rookie Tajh Boyd). At least a half-dozen more teams have an African-American starter or have drafted one to be the future face of the franchise.
Dual-threat quarterbacks such as Wilson, Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III have picked up the baton from Randall Cunningham and Vick, revolutionizing the way the position is played and forcing front offices to ask whether they still want to build around a traditional pocket passer.
The NFL has yet to reach the point in which those stars are viewed simply as "quarterbacks" rather than "African-American quarterbacks." But the football culture has come a long way since Super Bowl XXII in 1988, when Doug Williams fielded hundreds of questions about how it feels to be a black quarterback.