Although they are just one of 13 teams without a black head coach, they have only been in existence since 1996 and have only ever had three head coaches. When they elevated Ozzie Newsome from vice president of player personnel to their formal head front office executive in 2002, they became the first club to ever appoint an African American as their general manager.
The fact that this year's quarterback room is entirely made up of African Americans, including quarterbacks coach Tee Martin and assistant quarterbacks coach Kerry Dixon, makes it remarkable.
Last month, during training camp, Kris Rhim of the Baltimore Banner spoke with several members of the history-making group, including Martin and Johnson, as well as quarterback Warren Moon, a pioneer of the game who is now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Rhim then wrote an eloquent and meticulously researched article on the subject.
What many people thought would never be feasible is finally starting to materialize now that their regular season debut is just a few days away and the roster has been finalized.
African Americans were discouraged and overtly banned from pursuing professional careers playing or coaching the quarterback position throughout the league's existence and even the first two decades of this century.
Racist stereotypes of African Americans prevalent at the time the league was founded and for decades afterward served as the foundation for the logic and language supporting their exclusion from the most significant position in all of sports.
African-American athletes have been advised to switch positions for more than a century because it was a commonly held misconception that they had the mental toughness or capacity to handle the demands of playing quarterback.
Melanated people were and continue to be passed over and ignored when it comes to opportunities to coach the position at that same time period and to this day. Being denied that opportunity prohibits prospective coaches from rising through the ranks and accomplishing their professional goals in the NFL of today, where offense is king and coaching and developing quarterbacks is the fastest route to becoming a head coach or offensive play caller.
When choosing who can develop the next generation of black quarterbacks, other teams should hopefully be more open and responsive to what have long been the norms as a result of the Ravens setting an example in this regard. They are here to stay, and as the game develops and calls for the best athletes to fill its most crucial positions, their numbers will only increase as they observe athletes who resemble them excelling in the sport.