NFL player Jalen Hurts has made history and fans have been nothing but supportive. The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback is now the highest-paid player in the league’s history.

Not only has he made history, but in his newest Essence cover story, he credits Black women for paving the way for his successes. Specifically, he mentions how his mother, Pamela Hurts, consistently inspired him throughout his life.

He says she showed him how to “get it out the mud, because she’s had to get it out the mud for herself.” She also showed him what tenacity looks like. At a time when she was a special education teacher, she noticed her colleagues getting laid off and had to find a way to secure her livelihood.

“She went back to school, and she got her master’s to become a counselor,” Hurts told Essence. “That’s a living testimony for me.”  

Hurts credits many of his accomplishments to Black women. Here are the ways that he has honored them.

An Ode To Black Women

One of the ways he has honored Black women was simply by allowing his first cover story as a pro-athlete to be with a Black woman-focused outlet.

Sharing Black Love

Photo credit: Tim Nwachukwu

His relationship is up next. In the Essence article, the football player confirmed his relationship with longtime on-again-off-again girlfriend Bryonna Burrows. Although the women on Twitter were not too happy when the two were spotted together at last season’s NFC championship game, Hurts does not play about her.

“I knew a long time ago,” he said referencing Burrows. “I mean, to this point in my life, that’s an irreplaceable feeling. I think that’s what allowed us to get to where we are now.”  

Choosing The Right Team

Last, is his management team that includes Black women. His agent, Nicole Lynn, is also a history maker because of Hurts. She is the first woman to ever represent a Super Bowl starting quarterback. She shot her shot to be his agent via Instagram DMs. After he and his father got to know Lynn, they decided to gave her the job opportunity. The duo hasn’t looked back since.

Hurts knows that the team of Black women behind him is substantial but he doesn’t take that for granted. Nor does he feel like he has these women in his corner just because it’s what’s trendy now.

“I’m not doing anything to be different,” he said in the Essence interview. “I just think that’s the way it’s been ordained. I have the ultimate amount of respect for anyone who goes out there and grinds for something. Puts the work in, and they go get it done. I don’t put a gender on those things.”