Race and NFL QBs: Jemele Hill's Column Convoluted and Counterproductive

Bill AquavivaContributor IINovember 27, 2010

Racism or Realism?
Racism or Realism?

Boo hoo Jemele Hill

Was your readership waning? 

Or maybe your job is on the line? 

No, wait, I know, you just wanted some more attention. 

That must be it. 

That has to be the reason you wrote your amateurish, ridiculous, attention-seeking article on ESPN.com looking for excuse after excuse of why certain black QBs were benched this season.

This kind of accusation simply drives me nuts—well nuttier anyway. 

I cannot stand excuses and finger-pointing and playing the blame game. 

And what's the most popular way to get the attention you seek and get a spotlight shined on something regardless of its merits? 

Cry racism. 

Play the race card. 

Blame the white man.

Hill's article infuriates me beyond belief.  I'd like to share some choice words with her, but since I can't, I'll have to attack her and her article here.

Hey, wait a minute—why does a black woman have a job writing for ESPN.com and I'm here on bleacherreport.com?  Well clearly it must be racism, or sexism, or some form of discrimination.  It couldn't possibly be because she's a better writer than me.  Where's my lawyer?  I'm suing ESPN.com!

Her article starts off "Is race still an issue for NFL QBs?  The cases of Vince Young, Donovan McNabb and Jason Campbell raise the possibility." 

Her headline and "hook" allow me to provide readers with a condensed version of my long response to her asinine claim. 

One, Young is an immature, mentality imbalanced, average QB who has been in trouble and benched before due to his attitude and poor performance. 

Two, McNabb is on the downside of his career playing for a horrible team with a dictator head coach trying to keep his son, the offensive coordinator, happy. 

And three, Campbell is a statue in the pocket who seemingly enjoys getting sacked, throwing INTs and losing games.  He was a bust in Washington, had a second shot in Oakland and is still struggling. 

There you go Jemele; the reasons why your precious black QBs were benched this year.

Jemele then goes on to ask us if we've noticed the drama surrounding black QBs this year?  Um, blind girl, have you noticed the drama surrounding all QBs, every year in the NFL? 

Let's see, nobody has criticized Brett Favre

Opening day starter Kevin Kolb hasn't been benched. 

Carson Palmer has been praised all year for his decision-making and performance. 

Alex Smith hasn't been benched for Troy Smith. 

Campbell was benched for Bruce Gradkowski, but Gradkowski wasn't also benched for Campbell. 

Luckily none of these things have happened this year, which makes it clear to concede that, in the spirit of the holiday season, "Yes Jemele, there is a racist".

Jemele goes on to state, "I'm not calling anyone out for being racist"—what?!  That's exactly what you're doing.  If you're going to start blaming white America for benching black QBs at least have the courage to admit you are in fact calling people racists. 

Next she provides a list of reasons why these same black QBs could have justifiably been benched for their poor performance, but follows it up with "but it still seems as if race is playing a role in how some black quarterbacks are treated, managed, perceived and, ultimately, judged."  Really Jemele, how? 

Let's review her pathetic excuses used to back up her idiotic statement. 

First she cries about Jason Campbell having to deal with a different offensive coordinator in each of his four seasons with the Redskins since being drafted in 2005.  My first question here is why did the owner (who is still the same owner today) even draft a black QB in 2005?  How did he explain that to all his KKK buddies?  Shouldn't Jason have been black-balled at the draft instead of given four years to fail? 

Jemele adds "Campbell's shortcomings are rarely clarified with the same perspective as some white quarterbacks" but fails to provide examples to support her claim.

Next, she uses a classic propaganda statement of "most African-Americans are familiar with the notion that we have to be twice as good just to be considered equal with whites."  Wow, if that really is the belief of most blacks, (I refuse to classify blacks born and raised in this country as African-American; just like I'm not German-American) that you have to be twice as good just to be considered equal to whites, then we have a huge self-confidence issue that needs to be dealt with in this country. 

What Hill says next is mind-blowing; it is scary that this thought process is what is driving, in her words, "most African-Americans."  

She runs off a laundry list of Vince Young's issues, including sulking, refusing to re-enter a game, and fighting fans, but follows that with "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?" 

So Jeff Fisher is to blame for Young's immaturity?  Is Fisher his daddy?  Fisher is to blame for Young refusing to re-enter a game because fans are booing him?  Is Fisher his psychologist?  And Fisher is to blame for an intoxicated Young fighting a fan at a strip club who insulted his alma mater?  I don't even know what to classify Fisher as for this one. 

It's at this point where Jemele's article went from a spotlight-seeker crying race, to being the rantings of a deranged woman.

There is some sanity in Jemele's warped mind, and her article, when she admits black QBs obviously get opportunities in the NFL, but then she quickly puts her foot back in her mouth by asking how fair those opportunities really are.  

Is it an unfair opportunity to be drafted, paid millions and play in the NFL—just like white QBs are?  

Jemele goes on to ask "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?"  The only standard there is in the NFL, in fact in all professional and amateur sports, is to win. 

That's it.  Period. 

Win and keep your job. 

Write a good article and keep your job—or in Jemele's case, simply pick a hot-button issue and exploit it to keep your job.

The insanity continues with her wondering why Palmer isn't facing scrutiny (which he is, better do some basic research Jemele), and instead claiming "people are still searching for ways to blame newcomer Terrell Owens for the Bengals' disappointing 2-8 season."  

Really?  I haven't heard anything bad about T.O. this year.  I haven't seen any video clips of him crying about his QB, or blaming his QB, or criticizing the coordinator, coach or commissioner.  In fact, I've only heard how great he's playing this year, how he's exceeding all his contract clauses and getting paid this year due to his great performance. 

And in fantasy world I've heard how he's both winning games for folks and costing owners who drafted Chad Ochocinco games due to his outperforming "85."  

Bad example lady—you fished for someone who has been a good scapegoat before, but this year it doesn't apply. 

And to answer Jemele's question on why Palmer "isn't labeled an underachiever like McNabb," he is!  If you can't do your homework and you don't understand the perceptions of QBs in the league then please don't write about it and show off your ignorance. 

Palmer, like McNabb was a pretty good QB, is currently a decent QB, and is soon to be a veteran QB looking for a backup job to prolong his career. 

But I hear what you're saying Jemele, and if Palmer gets paid more than McNabb we need to organize a march in Washington, D.C. to get some sort of bill passed in Congress about forcibly paying black QBs as much as white QBs regardless of the market or their performance. 

Just give me a call when you're at that point, which I'm sure will be sooner rather than later.

Whew, hang in there folks, I'm getting close to wrapping this tirade up.

Jemele is under the impression that black QBs still can't seem to earn respect, citing how "McNabb, who despite being an 11-year veteran who has been to five NFC title games [she forgot the one Super Bowl], had to listen to his coach essentially call him too out of shape and simpleminded to run his offense."

Now had Jemele cared to ask anybody in the media, the NFL or the city of Washington, D.C. about this issue, she'd know that not only was Mike Shanahan viewed as an idiot, and is still dealing with losing 80 percent of the respect fans and players had for him for his outrageous statements.

Redskins fans started comparing him to former Redskins head coach, and resident idiot, Jim Zorn after his merry-go-round of excuses. 

So consider justice served Jemele. 

Are there morons out there?  Of course.  Are there egos and people more concerned with covering their butts than telling the truth or simply admitting to making a mistake?  Absolutely. 

Don't throw that into a big racism pile and try to call out the entire league or all of America.

The "flip-flopper" goes on to admit that "white quarterbacks are benched and second-guessed, too, same as black ones. It comes with the position, regardless of race." 

So again Jemele, why the article then? 

Either you have a legitimate concern about racism, or you acknowledge that the QB position is a high-profile position with a lot of responsibility and one that 99 percent of the time takes the blame for the loss and gets the credit for the win—just like the coach. 

Oh no, I hope I didn't just give you another racism article to write about—the lack of black head coaches in the NFL. 

In fact, speaking of other racism articles to write, how about the lack of Hispanics or Asians as NFL QBs?  What about Native Americans?  Or Middle-Easterners?  Why aren't these groups represented better in the NFL?  Why is it always just black v. white?

The Queen of generalization groups the majority of blacks in this country into her personal opinion by asking, "but if most of us agree that racism is still an issue in this country, how can we dismiss its influence in sports?"  

She jumped from QBs, to not only football, or all sports, but to the entire country. 

That makes me wish we had a black President—oh wait, we do. 

Well maybe if we had some black head coaches in the NFL—oh wait, we have seven this year, the same number of starting QBs that are black. 

OK, well what about pay?  It's a shame that black athletes don't get paid as much as white athletes—oops, six of the top 10 earning athletes in the world in 2010 are black; one is Hispanic, one is mixed and two are white. 

Hmm, maybe I need to start protesting the American businessmen and even the fans for having only two white guys on this list; it sure reeks of racism to me. 

And I dread the 2012 election in case Obama doesn't get re-elected; clearly it will be because of racism.

Jemele needs to forget what happened decades ago when black athletes were steered away from the QB position, usually by a bunch of elderly white millionaires who couldn't conceive of having a black man as the face of the franchise. 

And yes racism does still exist—unfortunately it always will—but you know what helps foster racism more than anything (certainly more than the color of your skin)? 

Actions.  Our words, our perceptions, our behavior; our actions. 

Here's a tip for you Jemele, if you recognize the shortcomings of the black QBs that were benched this year, and you can separate one moron coach from all of society, and if you can stop looking for others to blame and just take responsibility and be accountable for your own actions, then you might see a real change occur, one where blacks don't claim racism when things go bad and where whites appropriately respond to real instances of racism—and all other forms of discrimination.

I hope you got the attention you craved Jemele. 

It only came at the expense of your race.  Good job.


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