NEW YORK — A former football player in New England who became the first African-American to play in the NFL, who once was a model and a television personality, has the potential to be the first player of color to win the league’s Super Bowl.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and former wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, both of whom are African-Americans, are the only African- American players on the roster of the NFL’s 32 teams, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Brady, an offensive tackle who led the Patriots to a Super Bowl XLIX victory over the Miami Dolphins, was born in New Orleans and grew up in Boston, Massachusetts.
He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the third round of the 2004 NFL draft, and he has been an All-Pro ever since.
He won the Superbowl with the Patriots in 2007.
Bowe was drafted in the second round of that draft.
The Patriots’ Brady is the oldest active player to win two Super Bowls.
He turned 36 in August.
Bowe, an All American wide receiver, was an All Pro in 2007 with the Seattle Seahawks and has played in the Pro Bowl in each of the past three seasons.
Bowee won the NFL wide receiver of the year award in 2009.
He also became the second African-american player to play the game of football in a professional league, joining former All-American running back Terrell Davis in 2007, according a league spokesman.
Bowee and Brady are the first black NFL players to win Super Bowl MVP honors, the league said.
The other two players on New England’s roster are tight end Rob Gronkowski and linebacker Brandon Spikes.
They each were selected in the first round of last year’s draft.
Gronkowski, a tight end for the New York Giants, had 31 catches for 588 yards and two touchdowns in 2016.
Spikes, who had 33 receptions for 564 yards and four touchdowns in 2017, was selected in this year’s NFL draft.
They are the third and fourth African-Americas to play professional football in the past 10 years, joining New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Terron Armstead in 2014 and Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson in 2018.