Patrick Mahomes, though the richest man in sports and the most popular face in the NFL, is not without criticism himself. Born to a Black father and a white mother, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback has faced a number of judgement about his race. In a new spread for GQ Magazine, the $503 million man spoke candidly about those who feel the need to question his Blackness.
— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) July 14, 2020
“I’ve seen how people, on Twitter, have tweeted and said, ‘Oh, you’re not full Black.’ But I’ve always just had the confidence and believed in who I am. And I’ve known that I’m Black. And I’m proud to be Black. And I’m proud to have a white mom too. I’m just proud of who I am. And I’ve always had that confidence in myself.”
Since the Memorial Day murder of George Floyd, the 2018 league MVP has used his platform to speak out against senseless police brutality, including participating in a PSA with other prominent Black players in the NFL.
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) June 5, 2020
Speaking with Clay Skipper, Mahomes explained that it led to many follow-up conversations, including one with Commissioner Roger Goodell.
“I understand my platform. I understand that my part in the video is a big part of it. I’m in the middle of negotiating my next contract, to hopefully be a Kansas City Chief for a long time, but I still thought this was important enough and this was something that had to be said. It wasn’t something I could sit back on and worry about my next contract, because I needed to use my platform to help. Sometimes it’s not about money. It’s not about fame. It’s about doing what’s right.”
Mahomes’ Plan for More Social Justice Initiatives
Although he has teamed up with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James’ new initiative More Than A Vote, Mahomes has plans to do more inside the league itself. In his chat with Goodell, which he reveals lasted “30 minutes to an hour,” No. 15 also revealed more of what he wants the league to hire staff tasked with helping players become more active on issues facing their community.
“I remember talking about having maybe a social-justice officer that can point people in the right direction,” the Texas native said to GQ. “So whenever you wanna help out the community, you have someone that works with the team that can help. It was a great conversation.”
Thankfully, Goodell obliged. But, that speaks to just the power Mahomes has as an athlete and role model. In a league that’s characterized as Black players being managed by white owners, Mahomes might just be the guiding light to not only change the direction of their brand, but also serve as a blueprint for other federations to follow suit.
With at least 12 more years in the league to go, it’s safe to say Patrick Mahomes is just getting started. For a city that’s dreamed of having a franchise play-caller to build a storied dynasty around, Chiefs fans are proud witnesses to his rise.