During last Sunday’s stunning Super Bowl LI victory by the New England Patriots over the Atlanta Falcons, quarterback Tom Brady became the second person in the league to win five championships. However, a Black defensive player named Charles Haley was the first to achieve the amazing feat, during so in period between the ’80’s and ’90’s.
Haley, 53, won the first of his two championship rings as a member of the San Francisco 49ers. The imposing 6-foot-5, 255-pound Virginia native was a defensive marvel early on in his career, carrying over from his time at James Madison College. Haley, a fourth-round draft pick, spent his first five seasons with the Niners before heading over to the Dallas Cowboys for four seasons.
Playing both linebacker and defensive end, Haley was known for putting pressure on quarterbacks and for his dominance over linemen. He also had a bit of a mean streak on and off the field that at times, strained relationships with teammates. After winning his record fifth ring in 1995, Haley retired, then re-signed with the 49ers for one final season in a limited role after dealing with back issues.
Haley’s behavioral issues were detailed in his 2015 book, Fear No Evil, where he shared his life as a pro football player struggling with bipolar disorder. It was the same year Haley was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after previously being denied in 2011.
Over the course of 12 seasons, Haley notched 100.5 sacks to go along with five Pro Bowl appearances which matches his Super Bowl win total.
PHOTO: via Charles Haley Twitter