Oakland Raiders' Quarterback JaMarcus Russell Needs to Man-Up

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst IOctober 31, 2009

After that thumping by the Jets of the Raiders, I don't know that JaMarcus Russell and the Raiders even care.  I don't believe that they take pride in themselves or what they do.  They seem fulfilled by getting a fat paycheck for doing nothing.

Moreover, I do not understand why people have said, "I don't buy the race argument," when I have not made race arguments.  I was merely trying to communicate the fact that still today, any black quarterback represents something more than just himself in the NFL.

If you can't understand that, then I suggest that you look in the mirror.

I emphasize "in the NFL" because the NFL is still where it counts the most.  Since the beginning of the Super Bowl, only twice has a black quarterback started in the Super Bowl: Donovan McNabb and Doug Williams.

Until Doug Williams in 1978, there had not been a prominent black quarterback in the NFL.  It was fitting that Williams would become the first black quarterback to win the Super Bowl for the team of George Preston Marshall, the Washington Redskins.

Marshall, of course, had been an ardent bigot whom had refused to sign a black player until 1962 when he was forced to do so, and died in 1969 from a stroke.

That is not a race argument.  That is a factual argument.

As for Russell...

Russell has let-down Raider fans...and he's also letting-down kids that want to believe that they can grow-up to succeed in the NFL as a black quarterback. 

I try to appeal to a person's sense of honor.  I don't believe in one universal sense of honor.  I believe that everyone should have a sense of honor, and that I'll accept that as it is. 

What is Russell's sense of honor?

After that game against the Jets, I don't see honor from Russell.  Russell even made excuses after the game for the poor showing.  I realize that football is a team effort and that the statistics of one player are affected by the whole team.

Leadership, however, is the willingness to put responsibility on your shoulder.  And that is what is expected from a quarterback.

That does not mean that Russell cannot achieve that, but I think it's high-time that Russell be challenged to man-up not only for himself, but as I said, something more than just himself.