Marlin Briscoe, the first Black starting quarterback in modern American football, died Monday at the age of 76.
Drafted by the AFL's Denver Broncos as a cornerback, Briscoe threw for 1,589 yards and a 14 touchdowns in 1968's rookie season. The team said they were "heartbroken" to learn of Briscoe's death in a statement posted on Twitter.
"Marlin was a pioneer who shattered barriers, making history as the first Black starting quarterback in the Super Bowl era," the team said. "He paved the way for countless others and created an indelible legacy, including through our Marlin Briscoe Diversity Coaching Fellowship. Our deepest sympathies go out to Marlin's family, friends and former teammates."
After one season in Denver, "The Magician" later made the Pro Bowl as a wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills and played for the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins. He finished his nine-year career with 30 receiving touchdowns and two Super Bowl rings.
According to the Associated Press, his daughter, Angela Marriott, said Briscoe died of pneumonia at a hospital in Norwalk, California.
Rest in peace, Marlin.