Black Quarterbacks and the NFL
Whether you’re the manager of a fast food chain, an auto dealer, CEO of a Fortune 500 company or the president of the United States, you have to be twice as good to be equal. As we get into the throes of the current NFL season you can’t help but wonder are black quarterbacks held to a higher standard. Arguably, black quarterbacks have made NFL games more fun to watch!
Take the case of Donovan McNabb a five-time Pro Bowler and who has had more comeback wins probably than any other quarterback in the NFL. About two weeks ago in a big game McNabb was benched by Coach Mike Shanahan who later stated that McNabb didn’t have the mental capacity to lead the team! Can you believe that!
Head coach Jeff Fisher is having a major tiff with Vince Young. Coach Fisher had been playing an older quarterback with diminishing skills when finally the owner stepped in and told him come on you need to put Vince Young in. Doing so probably saved Coach Fisher’s job , Vince Young went on last year to lead the Tennessee Titans to an 8-2 season.
When white quarterbacks have a tough season or tough game the public as well as the coaches tend to give them more latitude. Take the case of Carson Palmer and Tony Romo who have sputtered at times. It seems that all is forgiven and are given more opportunities to redeem themselves. When Donovan McNabb pointed that out he was accused of playing the “race card.” One can hardly deny that there is an obvious difference in the treatment that black quarterbacks receive in the NFL.
In the history of the super bowls no quarterback has been more dissed than Doug Williams, who after a stellar performance and blow out victory was not given the proverbial invitation to Disneyland! That would have been unimaginable happening to a white quarterback.The obvious reason is that there is so much scrutiny at the quarterback position is that it’s a position of leadership. The quarterback is viewed as the field general, the face of the team etc. this is not to say that they’re not any good black quarterbacks in the NFL. It’s come a long way since the early days when the first black NFL quarterbacks literally endured threats and taunts from fans. But we still have a long way to go.
The case of Michael Vick is an interesting case study in the treatment of black quarterbacks. Arguably, this incredible athlete is having an MVP season. However, many of his detractors are saying that he can’t keep it up, there’s no way he can continue to play at that level. It’s absolutely amazing! A few weeks ago when the Eagles played the Redskins, many of us including Hall of Famer Steve Young stated, “we are all witnessing something on the field very extraordinary!” For goodness sakes, with a performance like the one that Vick turned in and every game since how much more proof do you need that black quarterbacks have risen to the occasion?