“What the hell kind of country is this where I can only hate a man if he’s white?”
That was said by none other than Hank Hill of the TV show King of the Hill. Apparently some people don’t seem to comprehend that quote. Take ESPN columnist Jemele Hill. She recently wrote a column titled, “Is Race Still An Issue For NFL QBs?” With the tag line, “The cases of Vince Young, Donovan McNabb and Jason Campbell raise the possibility.” Immediately I want to dismiss this as lunacy because Hill is notorious for playing the race card every chance she gets but doesn’t she have a point?
Actually no she doesn’t. Now, I’m not going to say some quarterbacks aren’t criticized more than others, I mean Carson Palmer and Jay Cutler don’t take much of a beating in the media despite both being turnover machines. Granted Cutler’s team is doing well so I guess that helps, but nobody seems to be noticing that Palmer and the defense is largely the reason for the Bengals downfall this season. People like Skip Bayless find a reason to blame Terrell Owens for some reason, so yea Palmer needs to be criticized a lot more than he does. But back to the column, lets delve into it shall we?
“Has anyone else noticed all the drama surrounding black quarterbacks during this NFL season?
• Jason Campbell, who has been fighting for his job all season in Oakland, was benched for the second time this year against Pittsburgh on Sunday.”
First off as if black QBs are the only ones facing drama. Ever heard of Favre? He’s been called the worst starting QB in the league by some. But he’s white and therefore doesn’t fit Hill’s argument so Favre’s name will not be mentioned in her column. Well actually it is but we’ll get to that later. Back to Campbell. It’s worth noting Campbell has 7 TD passes, 6 picks and a passer rating of 75.8. Should he really be the unquestioned starter?
“• Six-time Pro Bowler Donovan McNabb was replaced by Rex Grossman during the final 1:50 of a close game against the Detroit Lions earlier this month because Redskins coach Mike Shanahan claimed Grossman was better suited to run the team’s two-minute offense. Shanahan questioned McNabb’s “cardiovascular endurance.””
No argument here, that was idiotic. Not that I’m a huge McNabb fan, because I never have been, always been overrated to me, but Grossman is awful and should never play unless McNabb and McNabb’s backup are hurt. And yes I’m aware Grossman is McNabb’s backup, it was a joke saying Grossman should be the 3rd stringer.
“• And on Sunday, Titans coach Jeff Fisher demoted Vince Young to benchwarmer after Young threw a tantrum following Tennessee’s 19-16 loss to Washington. Although thumb surgery is the official reason Young’s season is over, Fisher made it clear before he knew the severity of Young’s injury that his 27-year-old quarterback was being removed as the starter.”
Well were Young’s actions becoming of that of a starting QB? When’s the last time you saw a good QB throw a tantrum like that? Keep in mind this is Young’s second such tantrum. Lets also keep in mind Jeff Fisher had Steve McNair for 10 years and I can’t recall him ever being benched for anything other than an injury.
“In 2007, McNabb told HBO’s “Real Sports” that black quarterbacks in the NFL face more pressure and tougher criticism than white quarterbacks do. The responses were predictable.
Racism is not an issue in the NFL.
Stop pulling the race card.
But if you’ve paid attention to how some of the league’s black quarterbacks have been treated this season, McNabb’s words seem even truer now than they were three years ago.
I’m not calling anyone out for being racist, and I realize this might seem like an odd conversation to have considering that Michael Vick is on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated and his comeback is one of the best sports stories of the year.
I’m also not overlooking the facts that Campbell played poorly in the games in which he was benched, that Young’s antics in Tennessee are largely to blame for his problems with Fisher, and that Shanahan has had difficult relationships with plenty of white quarterbacks in the past.
But it still seems as if race is playing a role in how some black quarterbacks are treated, managed, perceived and, ultimately, judged.”
Racism is not an issue in the NFL, stop pulling the race card and quit whining Jemele. First off I absolutely LOVE how you debunked your own argument before you even delve into the column by mentioning Campbell actually played poor when he was benched, Shanahan has really only clicked with Elway and nobody else, Young is really immature and Vick is being hyped as an MVP candidate. Couldn’t it just be the case of these three guys who just so happen to be black are not very good? Also if your going to talk about QBs being criticized why not mention the white ones? Again, people have called Favre the worst starting QB in the league, Romo has taken plenty of criticisms over the years, Alex Smith is being called one of the bigger busts in the NFL and it may be because their teams are pretty irrelevant right now but I can’t imagine the local media outlets are being too kind to Derek Anderson, Chad Henne and Matt Hasselbeck. I mean why mention Campbell’s benching if your not going to mention Henne’s, Anderson’s (who is back now), and Hasselbeck’s? Oh right, again that doesn’t fit the mold of her argument.
“The first time Campbell was benched this season was during halftime of the second game of the season.
The impatience the Raiders have shown with Campbell is stunning. They gave up a fourth-round pick to get him, and were convinced he was the answer after things went south with draft bust JaMarcus Russell, another black quarterback.
Campbell will start on Sunday against Miami, but it’s baffling that he’s still fighting with Bruce Gradkowski — whose career record as a starter is 5-11 — for the No. 1 job.”
First off, I love that she mentions JaMarcus was a black QB like we didn’t know. But why mention it? Did the Raiders do him wrong too? He would have played just as bad if he were Indian, white, Cuban or Asian. I digress, yes Campbell was benched suddenly but he was also bad in the pre season, bad in the first game and bad in the first half of the game he was benched in. What she fails to mention about Gradkowski is he actually played well for Oakland in 2009, the teams loves him and as a starter in Oakland he’s 2-2. The wins were against a 10 win Cincinnati team and at Pittsburgh and I know it’s not to impressive but neither is Jason Campbell. Lets not forget Campbell was a 1st round pick by Washington and then shipped out to Oakland in favor of McNabb. So he was replaced by a black QB? Clearly Washington hates white QBs!
“I know race doesn’t completely explain the Raiders’ treatment of Campbell or why he didn’t work out for the Redskins. But Campbell’s shortcomings are rarely clarified with the same perspective as some white quarterbacks.
You hear about his 25-35 record as a starter, but you don’t hear that he’s played for a different offensive coordinator in every season since the Redskins drafted him in the first round in 2005.”
Race doesn’t explain any of Oakland’s treatment of Campbell. But if your going to bring up Campbell’s record and justify it by bringing up his multiple offensive coordinators why did you bring up Bruce Gradkowski’s record and not mention he’s played under 4 offensive coordinators since he was drafted in 2006? Oh right, it doesn’t fit into your argument. But if your going to talk about how “nobody talks about how Campbell has played under different coordinators each year” which by the way doesn’t make it true just because you say it, why not mention how Alex Smith (who, as I said is a huge bust) also played under his fair share of offensive coordinators? Besides, when’s the last time a team with a good QB fired their offensive coordinator? Just saying.
“Most African-Americans are familiar with the notion that we have to be twice as good just to be considered equal with whites. And considering that there are only six black starting quarterbacks in the NFL, there isn’t a lot of room for error.”
So why aren’t Mike Vick, David Garrard, Josh Freeman, and Troy Smith being criticized? Last I heard Vick is an MVP candidate, Garrard has his team in 1st place, Freeman is developing into a really good QB, and Troy could maybe be the future QB for the 49ers. I guess it’s because when black QBs play well they don’t get criticized. But isn’t that true of any QB? Oh well.
“Young and Fisher have had a number of problems over the years; and let’s not pretend that Fisher, who I consider to be a good coach, is totally blameless.
Young is 30-17 as a starter, and you could argue that he saved Fisher’s job last season after the coach reluctantly inserted Young into the starting lineup following the Titans’ horrific 0-6 start.
As the starter, Young led the team to an 8-2 record down the stretch. Had he started the entire season, the Titans might have been a bigger threat to make the playoffs.
During his time in Tennessee, Young certainly has shown some immaturity. He sulks. He refused to re-enter a game because the fans were booing him. He got into an altercation in a strip club this past summer, reportedly because a man insulted his school, the University of Texas. His behavior, at times, has been inexcusable, and it has undermined his incredible talent.
But is it possible that some of Young’s actions are a result of Fisher’s lack of confidence, which has been a persistent issue since the Titans drafted Young against Fisher’s wishes?”
Yes it is possible. Now I’m not going to pretend Fisher hasn’t handled this situation poorly. In fact if I owned the Titans they’d both be gone after this season. But what’s this got to do with race? Young is a good but come on, not a great QB. He’s put up some good numbers this year (although the team’s most impressive win was beating the Giants in New York. But to be fair, the Giants started off 1-2 and looked really awful in the process. But again, isn’t it possible Young just isn’t Fisher’s type of QB? Sometimes guys just don’t work in some places no matter how good they might be. Kurt Warner didn’t work out in New York, Jeff Garcia didn’t work out in Detroit or Cleveland, heck Bill Belichick didn’t work out in Cleveland, oh and NFL MVP played for 3 teams before he landed in Oakland and played really well. Again, Fisher and McNair were a team for 10 years so it’s hard to think that Fisher has a problem with black QBs.
“Fisher and Young had completely different accounts of what unfolded after Sunday’s loss to the Redskins. Undoubtedly, Young didn’t handle himself like a professional; but then again, I don’t know of any quarterback who would be happy about being replaced by a third-stringer.
Young wanted to play despite a busted thumb. If Brett Favre had done that, we’d say he was being fiercely competitive.
But this is Vince Young, so he’s being a brat.”
Well according to Fisher Young never asked to go back in and Young hasn’t said otherwise so where did you come up with the idea that he wanted to play? Besides, if he needed surgery chances are he really couldn’t throw so maybe it’s better he didn’t ask to go back in, although if he had asked (something you know McNair would have done) it would have changed the whole situation. So to say Young wanted to go back in is completely made up isn’t it Jemele? But I love how you wrote a column about QBs being criticized and didn’t mention the leagues most criticized QB except in a positive reference. Hilarious.
“I don’t question whether black quarterbacks receive opportunities in the NFL, because it’s obvious they do. But how fair are those opportunities? Despite all the progress that’s been made by black quarterbacks, why does it still seem as if they are held to a different standard?”
Are they? Vick went to PRISON, was never that great of a passing QB in Atlanta, people thought he might have to go to the UFL or play running back and he got a shot at starting (over a white QB no less). David Garrard hasn’t played that well ever since he took Jacksonville to the playoffs in 2007 yet he wasn’t benched. In fact despite strong rumors of Jacksonville taking Tim Tebow in the 2010 draft Jacksonville stuck with him and now he’s having another fine season. But I guess black QBs don’t get equal opportunities do they? Out of the three QBs mentioned in Jemele’s article two of them are still starters so clearly they are still being given a shot. In fact, this is each QBs 2nd team so aren’t they literally getting a 2nd chance? And considering Washington replaced Campbell with a black QB and considering Philadelphia replaced McNabb with a black QB I REALLY have no clue how Jemele is forming these opinions. I guess you just have to ignore a lot of facts and THEN you’ll see what Jemele sees.
“”Any franchise Caucasian quarterback will get unlimited opportunities to realize their potential,” says Shaun King, an African-American who quarterbacked the Tampa Bay Bucs to the NFC Championship Game in 1999. “If Jay Cutler left Chicago, and even if he played badly, he’s always going to be viewed as a franchise QB. For African-Americans, their value is strictly tied to their current performance. It’s tough to stick up for Vince Young because his immaturity has been a consistent issue, but a Caucasian QB that has been as successful as Vince Young wouldn’t be pulled as much as him.””
Well this is strictly a hypothetical situation so there’s no way to prove it but I for one don’t buy it at all. If Cutler let say played so poorly that the Bears missed the playoffs and was another league leader in interceptions and the Bears cut him who would honestly view him as a franchise QB after that? I’m sure he’d get a job but nobody would call him a franchise QB. Secondly didn’t the Raiders said Campbell would be a franchise QB after he left Washington? So there’s Shaun King’s hypothetical or there’s my real life situation, which one would you take? Secondly, if Young is cut after this year he’ll be picked up by another team and probably be called a franchise QB, I know that’s hypothetical as well but mine sounds more convincing than Shaun’s right? By the way, how many people still consider Matt Leinart or Brady Quinn franchise QBs after not really getting a good amount of time to play? Nobody.
“In that interview with HBO, McNabb said this about quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Peyton Manning: “Let me start by saying I love those guys. But they don’t get criticized as much as we do. They don’t.”
He’s right. Manning has a Hall of Fame résumé and is one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the position. But he isn’t facing an avalanche of criticism from the fans and media for the interception against the Patriots on Sunday that ended the Colts’ comeback attempt and sealed the game for New England.”
Well I do believe Palmer needs to be criticized more and I do believe it’s coming especially come draft time when the Bengals are looking at Andrew Luck. But as for Manning, he is being criticized for that pick, but it’s Peyton Manning. Are you really going to kill the guy for 1 bad pass when he’s made so many great ones? I mean, should Manning honestly face “an avalanche of criticism” for that pick? It’s one pick. Meanwhile Eli Manning gets killed in New York after already having won a Superbowl every bad game he has, but again don’t mention ANYTHING that might debunk your argument.
“Manning accepted responsibility for the mistake, of course. But had that been McNabb, the reaction would have been downright vitriolic.”
I forgot has McNabb won 4 MVP awards and a Superbowl? Oh wait he hasn’t. Secondly, as I said, if that was the “other” Manning, the reaction would have been downright vitriolic.
“People are still searching for ways to blame newcomer Terrell Owens for the Bengals’ disappointing 2-8 season, even though Palmer has guided the Bengals to only two winning seasons and hasn’t won a playoff game during his seven years in Cincinnati.”
Who other than Skip Bayless is doing that? Besides, when did we start talking about receivers? Aren’t all the best receivers in the NFL black anyway?
“So why doesn’t Palmer get the Jason Campbell treatment? Why isn’t he labeled an underachiever like McNabb?
Palmer and Manning certainly have been criticized, but rarely in their careers have they faced the same microscope or backlash that McNabb, Vick, or most other black starting quarterbacks have.”
Palmer is the only guy I agree with Jemele on, he needs to be much more criticized than he is, but I believe it’s coming. I live in Ohio and he’s already pretty hated among Benglas fans, it’s only a matter of time until ESPN jumps on the blame Palmer bandwagon. But they are a little late to the party, I’ll concede that. Although, I doubt it has anything to do with him being white. The fact that play in a small market and made the playoffs may have something to do with it.
“The late Steve McNair and the Titans had such a bad relationship at one point that the organization locked him out of the Titans’ facility. On Tuesday, according to a report out of Nashivlle, Young showed up at the Titans’ practice facility and was asked to leave.”
Now this REALLY bothers me. Jemele would have you believe the Titans have a “No Coloreds” sign outside their facility. McNair wasn’t allowed in because he was going to be traded, and they didn’t want him working out with the team in case he got injured, meanwhile Young had no reason to be there and is basically a distraction right now. Also, way to ignore the 10 good years McNair had with the Titans and zoom in on one bad moment.
By the way, where is “Nashivlle?” I guess ESPN columnists can’t be bothered with spell check.
“McNabb, who despite being an 11-year veteran who has been to five NFC title games, had to listen to his coach essentially call him too out of shape and simpleminded to run his offense.
McNabb, by the way, has led 17 fourth-quarter comebacks and 25 game-winning drives in his career.”
Again I agree, that was stupid and indefensible but it wasn’t because he was black, at least, there’s no evidence to show that this was the reason. Now, I know Philly fans can be tough but McNabb despite the 5 NFC championship games was 1-4 in those games, maybe that has something to do with the Philly fans hate of McNabb? I mean you can’t call them racists because they love a largely overrated player in Ryan Howard so as tough and sometimes as annoying as Philly fans can be, their hate is not race based.
“I’m not saying black quarterbacks are above criticism or that race plays a role every time one of them loses his job. White quarterbacks are benched and second-guessed, too, same as black ones. It comes with the position, regardless of race.”
Exactly! So Jemele you actually get it! So why did you just write all of that previous nonsense only to debunk your entire argument?
“But if most of us agree that racism is still an issue in this country, how can we dismiss its influence in sports?”
Oh so now it’s not just QBs but it’s sports in general. Well can we at least dismiss hockey and baseball since blacks really don’t play those sports (maybe those sports are racist!). What percentage of NBA players are black? In fact, I once heard people question if the Pacers had racist motives because they had about an even number of black and white players on their team. Wouldn’t that make them the least racist team in the NBA? In the NFL, most of those players are black too yet now it’s an issue? Why because there’s only 6 black QBs starting in the league? Uhh sorry?
“The history of black quarterbacks in the NFL isn’t pretty. Things have come a long way since Williams played, but it would be foolish to think that lingering perceptions and biases don’t still exist. Let’s not forget that while Vick was imprisoned for dogfighting, more than a few analysts suggested he should change his position when he returned to the field. That’s what NFL scouts once told Warren Moon he had to do if he wanted to be drafted at all.”
Yes how dare an analyst suggest that a below average passing QB after having not played in 2 years would need to change positions, as if rust wouldn’t affect him. Oh by the way, Vick never did change positions so why bring that up because people suggested it? And at the time, it was a very valid suggestion. As for Warren Moon, he wasn’t drafted and had to play in the CFL for 6 seasons before he got a shot. So maybe a position change would have gotten him drafted. Turns out he just needed more time to develop into a really good QB.
“After McNabb made his comments to HBO, Campbell and Young were quick to say they didn’t feel like race was a factor in how they were perceived.
I wonder if they feel that way now.”
Yea I wonder too. Jason, do you think being benched in Oakland has anything to do with you being black or does it have to do with the 42.9 and 26.2 passer ratings you posted in the 2 games in which you were benched? Oh and Vince, lets say your thumb was fine and you would be OK to play on Sunday against Houston but instead you got benched, do you think it’s because you’re black or because you threw a tantrum and stormed out of the arena showing an incredible lack of maturity (for the 2nd time in your career mind you)? Oh and Vince, before you answer, keep in mind you did text Fisher an apology and by doing so admitted you basically acted like a child.
Gee, I can’t wait to hear their responses, I wonder what they’ll say…