NORWALK, Calif. (AP)— Marlin Briscoe, the first Black starting quarterback in the American Football League, has died at the age of 76.
Briscoe’s daughter, Angela Marriott, told The Associated Press that he died of pneumonia at a hospital in Norwalk, California on Monday.
Briscoe was a star quarterback at Omaha University before the Denver Broncos drafted him as a cornerback in the 14th round in 1968. He told the team he wanted a tryout at quarterback.
Denver agreed to an audition, and the 5-foot-10 dynamo nicknamed “The Magician” ended up starting five games that year.
“I was a product of the ’60s. Back then, you knew you had to be three times better to just have the chance to compete with White people,” Briscoe told ESPN’s Jason Reid in a 2016 interview. “Yeah, it didn’t work out for me. But I feel what I did helped the guys who came after me. And I’ll always be proud of that.”