Baylor Football

Robert Griffin III: African-American QB Comparisons Are Unwarranted and Racist

COLLEGE STATION, TX - OCTOBER 15:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Baylor Bears throws during a game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field on October 15, 2011 in College Station, Texas. The Texas A&M Aggies defeated the Baylor Bears 55-28.  (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Sarah Glenn/Getty Images
Eli NachmanyCorrespondent IIIDecember 30, 2011

I wanted to get one last good look at Robert Griffin III in game action, so I tuned into the Alamo Bowl in which Griffin's Baylor Bears took on the Washington Huskies in a true offensive show.

Usually, I don't mind the ESPN commentating, but I should have put this game on mute.

Every time Griffin took off for a five-yard gain, a commentator would remark at how he "could be the next Cam Newton" and that he'll "need to take shots at the next level as a running quarterback".

When RG3 would throw a perfect deep spiral, I recall the commentators remarking at how "he is better than Michael Vick was at this level," before the other announcer would respond that "Vick was a better runner, but Griffin is a better passer."

I'm really becoming annoyed at how white quarterbacks can only be compared to other white quarterbacks and African-American quarterbacks can only be compared to other African-American quarterbacks.

Robert Griffin III is not comparable to Cam Newton just like he's not comparable to Michael Vick. In fact, if I was to give a scouting report, Griffin has a little bit of Jake Locker in his legs and Matthew Stafford in his arm.

I want to know why announcers need to compare African-American quarterbacks to other signal-callers of the same skin color.

Last year, Cam Newton was inevitably compared to another former No. 1 overall pick who failed in JaMarcus Russell. Past their skin color, though, what similarities did the two have?

Newton was a charismatic, friendly individual who really cared about becoming an NFL icon. JaMarcus Russell had the personality of a brick.

Griffin III is a great quarterback. However, in comparing his abilities to past NFL players, scouts need to realize that Griffin is not 6'5" like Cam Newton and he's not 6'0" like Michael Vick.

The Baylor quarterback is 6'2", like Jake Locker and Tony Romo, but not any recent African-American quarterback that announcers are so eager to compare him to.

Griffin has a big arm and has pinpoint accuracy on his deepest throws, which draws some comparisons to Vick. However, I see his arm as being closer to that of a Matthew Stafford or Carson Palmer coming out.

I see Griffin as a quarterback, not as an African-American individual and then a quarterback. We made the same mistakes with Cam Newton last year and I really don't want to hear the same racially-charged criticism against Griffin this season.

RG3 is a top-level quarterback prospect who has his strengths and flaws like any other passer to come through the draft process. It's time to be fair to this young signal-caller and not be content to compare him to other quarterbacks of his race.

He's Robert Griffin III, a quarterback in the NFL draft class of 2012. I don't see the word "black" anywhere in that sentence.

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