AFL’s First Black Quarterback Marlin Briscoe’s Cause of Death
The first Black quarterback to start in the AFL Marlin Briscoe’s cause of death has been announced after he passed away on Monday (17, 2022) at the age of 76, according to The Athletic.
USdayNews’ team’s thoughts and prayers are with the legend’s family and friends.
The Broncos selected Briscoe out of Omaha University in the 14th round of the 1968 AFL-NFL Common Draft and planned to play him at cornerback, but Briscoe was determined to play at the pro level the position that had helped make him a star in college.
Midway through the 1968 season, as injuries mounted at quarterback, coach Lou Saban gave Briscoe his opportunity. He ended up playing in 11 games at quarterback that season, kicking off five, and threw 14 touchdown passes while additionally rushing for three scores.
His success as Denver‘s only rookie quarterback to throw double-digit touchdowns without double-digit interceptions, helped mil start to change the perception of what Black quarterbacks could do in pro football at a time when racial prejudices hindered or outright prevented their opportunities.
“There were a few things that society didn’t think a Black man could do, and (three were) think, throw and lead,” Briscoe, who was nicknamed “The Magician,” told the Broncos’ team website last year. “They didn’t know how the fan reaction, manager reaction, player and teammate reaction — they didn’t know how that was going to be.”
The Broncos founded the Marlin Briscoe Diversity Fellow coaching place in his name ahead of the 2021 season, which Briscoe named “a great honor.”
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What’s Behind Marlin Briscoe’s Cause of Death?
Marlin Briscoe’s cause of death has been clarified soon after the tragedy; he reportedly lost his life due to pneumonia at a hospital in Norwalk, Calif., his daughter confirmed. He had been hospitalized because of circulation issues in his legs.
Briscoe became a wide receiver after the 1968 season. He gained his lone Pro Bowl nod with the Buffalo Bills in 1970 and was awarded two Super Bowls with the Miami Dolphins, guiding the 1972 undefeated team with four touchdown receptions. He subsequently turned into an assistant coach at the University of Colorado.
Briscoe never forgot the fact that he lost his starting job in Denver without explanation.
“It bothered him,” Harris stated. “Although he made the switch, he was disappointed. In order to still accomplish what he did under those circumstances – frustrated, disappointed – to be focused enough to be a high achiever at another position took a special makeup, a special guy.”
Briscoe was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2016, and the Broncos named a diversity coaching fellowship in his honor before the 2021 season.
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Well after his playing days, Briscoe remained outspoken about racial injustice. He was proud to have moved the needle in 1968, but he told in an interview in 2018 that he was disappointed that many strides made in his day had been lost.
“I grew up in the ’50s and the ’60s when all that stuff was rampant, but you knew where you stood,” Briscoe expressed. “Today, you thought that all those attitudes were nonexistent or filtered away to some degree, but with the Trump-isms, his philosophy has brought out of the woodwork that old-time thought process. That’s scary – it really is.”