*Robert Griffin III has become an icon in the NFL, setting the tone for the season as the star quarterback of the Washington Redskins.

Poised on the field, charming in public, and an admirable style of leadership all mark the presence of Griffin, but his impact also touches down in a special place in African American history.

At the tender young age of 22, he’s become a locker room leader, naturally. He’s quickly becoming an icon, becoming the chosen one – for everyone, as one Washington Post writer, Dave Sheinin,  puts it.

“I think he can be that guy,” Redskins veteran linebacker London Fletcher said of the superstar. “He’s what this franchise and this community have been looking for, for over 20 years — a superstar quarterback. But he’s more than that. He has the persona, the charisma, the talent. There’s another dimension he brings.

“He’s someone who can relate to anyone,” Fletcher goes on to say. “You see everyone’s falling in love with him. But for African Americans, it’s an even different connection. In a lot of cities it might not mean as much. But this is Washington, D.C. It means a lot.”

Despite his ethnic background and the baggage and glory that comes with it, he’s been able to relate to a wide array of groups due to his upbringing.

“My parents raised me to not ever look at race or color,” Griffin said recently, “so it doesn’t have a big part in my self-identity. [But] I think it has played a big part in how other people view me, just going back to when I was a kid, to even now, doing the things that I’ve been able to do. As an African American, I think other people view that in a different way than I do.”