Growing up, I didn’t think it was weird to have a black quarterback, because it’s what I saw all the time.
Sports journalist and Bleacher Report’s own Taylor Rooks stopped by the Shadow League studio for a taping of the Points on the Board Podcast. The Georgia native sat down with host Kyle Harvey to discuss the 2019 NFL draft, the significance of black quarterbacks, Atlanta’s contribution to the culture and more.
The Take It There host started her career at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign majoring in broadcast journalism. Shortly after graduating she worked for the Big Ten Network and later became a reporter and correspondent at SportsNet New York where she interviewed athletes and covered sports news.
Despite being a true lover of all sports, football unquestionably has cemented its spot in her heart. A diehard Atlanta Falcons fan, Michael Vick is her favorite Falcons player of all time. And for good reason.
“Growing up in Georgia, Michael Vick was the savior. I’m not kidding you. Everyone had that number seven jersey. It’s like he took over the town and the number one person who we loved more than anything in life was, Michael Vick,” Rooks said to Harvey. “Vick just stood for a lot of things for me. Growing up that was my quarterback. I didn’t think it was weird to have a black quarterback because it’s what I saw all the time.”
However, it wasn’t till later Rooks would realize that someone like Vick—and even former Falcons star and HOF’er Deion Sanders as she mentions—was an anomaly. Vick embodied his blackness. From his braids, swagger, and play style, the Newport News native was immediately embraced in the A.
Sanders revolutionized the cornerback position in the NFL with his skill set. He also developed a reputation as a flashy and confident player, with his high stepping and elaborate touchdown celebrations (and rings) which earned him the nickname, Prime Time.
“I see both Michael Vick and Deion Sanders almost as cultural markers. They were indicative of the times they were in,” said Rooks. “And you measure a lot of things based on when Vick was playing and when Deion was playing.”
You can check out the Rooks x Points on the Board vid clip above and look out for the full podcast to drop later this week.