Shannon Sharpe Claps Back at Steelers’ Russell Wilson Over Black QB History

Shannon Sharpe Russell Wilson

Getty Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe criticized Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Russell Wilson again after Wilson reacted to his first criticism.

The war of words between Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Russell Wilson and Shannon Sharpe continued in the Hall of Fame tight end’s newest podcast episode.

Sharpe again criticized Wilson for comments he made in a recent interview with Essence. Sharpe also ripped Wilson for a tweet he posted that tried to clarify his interview comments.

“I thought Russell [Wilson] was being dismissive of the guys that came before him,” Sharpe said on the April 14 episode of his podcast, Nightcap. “That’s what I was saying.”

In the Essence interview, Wilson said his back-to-back Super Bowl trips in 2014 and 2015 “opened up a lot of doors” for Black quarterbacks. Then in a tweet on April 13, Wilson highlighted passages from the Essence article, written by Okla Jones, where it mentioned older Black signal callers.

“Grateful for those before me. Those with me. And those after,” Wilson included as caption to his highlighted text.

But Sharpe took issue with Wilson’s highlighting tactic because not all of the passages the quarterback called attention to were direct quotes.

“This is not what he said. He highlighted what the author said. This is what the author said,” argued Sharpe. “‘Before Wilson bust onto the scene, signal callers of color. Doug Williams, Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham, and Michael Vick all dominated the field at one point a fact that Wilson recognized and respects. I think about those guys before me, he says.’

“That’s not what he said. He’s just regurgitating what the author said.”

Shannon Sharpe Rips Russell Wilson Over Tweet

At first, it may appear Sharpe has a point about Wilson’s highlighting tactic. The article mentioning quarterbacks prior to Wilson’s era doesn’t mean that the Steelers signal caller called attention to them during his interview with Jones.

However, Jones appears to imply with the phrase, “a fact that Wilson recognized and respects” that some of the prior generations Black quarterbacks were discussed in the interview.

On his newest podcast, Sharpe didn’t discuss the last passage Wilson highlighted, which was a direct quote.

“I think of the biggest blessings of my career so far is that I’ve been fortunate to be able to open up doors for others, because of what others did for me,” Wilson told Jones.

Wilson may be slightly overhyping his own importance in the history of Black NFL quarterbacks. But not everyone is going to agree with Sharpe that he was dismissive of the prior Black trailblazers at the position.

Sharpe Gives Wilson a History Lesson

As Sharpe continued to denounce the Wilson interview and his tweet rebuttal, Sharpe referred to a quarterback that was not mentioned in the Essence article at all — Marlin Briscoe.

In 1968, Briscoe became the first Black quarterback to start during Week 1 for the Denver Broncos.

“Russ, you do realize that Marlin Briscoe was a scrambling quarterback before Doug Williams,” Sharpe said. “You probably don’t even know who he is. The first Black quarterback to start opening day for the Broncos.”

However, it appears Wilson does know who Briscoe is. During his first offseason with the Broncos, Wilson paid tribute to Briscoe when he passed away.

“Thanks to ‘The Magician’ for breaking down doors for me & many others!” Wilson posted on X (formerly Twitter) on June 27, 2022.

This fall, Wilson is expected to become the first Week 1 Black starting quarterback for the Steelers since 2010.

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