Why Is There A Shortage Of Black Quarterbacks In The NFL?

Why Is There A Shortage Of Black Quarterbacks In The NFL?

Does the NFL need to change their style of play?

The NFL is no stranger to controversy and this issue is not a new one.

But, what is a legit reason why the NFL today only has five black quarterbacks that start on a regular basis? Some would say that the talent is just not there. Others may say why are you bringing race into sports again? Well, sorry to bring up race in sports, but you must admit that this conversation is an interesting one to dissect and analyze.

The five black quarterbacks that start on a regular basis are Jameis Winston, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott and Tyrod Taylor.

Now, all of these quarterbacks are talented and can change the outcome of a game. If someone is an impact player, then should that person's race be brought up? I do not believe it should, if you can lead your team to a Super Bowl win. I do not think many will care if that quarterback is black or white. The issue is that many teams, historically, have not given black quarterbacks the opportunities to either start, play or given a spot on the roster.

Now, I know that there are have been successful black quarterbacks in the past.

For example, Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb, Randall Cunningham and Warren Moon are all considered to be the best of the best in terms of black quarterbacks. With these men being outstanding players, we can't forgot that having seen evidence of blacks being successful in the NFL, there has consistently been a shortage. I am not saying that football is a segregated sport because that is far from the truth.

Blacks are the majority athletes in Division I football. Why I think that the NFL seems to discriminate and not give blacks as much an opportunity at the quarterback position is because of the common style black quarterbacks play. I would even go as far to say that this style is common throughout college football today. That style is the duel-threat quarterback, one that can run and threw the ball efficiently.

This style is a mobile pocket passer.

An example is Michael Vick to the fullest. These type of quarterbacks relay both on their legs and their throwing arm. This style is seen throughout the best college football teams in the nation today. Jalen Hurts at Alabama, Kelly Bryant at Clemson and even Heisman hopeful Baker Mayfield at Oklahoma play this way.

The NFL is stuck in the era of pure pocket passers like Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees. While it is the norm and almost required of quarterbacks at the college level to have the ability to runaway from trouble if need be. It has yet to truly transition to the professional level.

The reasoning behind the lack of black quarterbacks is because the majority of black quarterbacks play the mobile pocket passer. Cam Newton at Auburn was a running quarterback with a rocket arm. He had to transition from that type to a more traditional style and he has done it pretty well.

Unfortunately, that transition has hurt many potential players to transcend from just a college star to an NFL star. An example is Robert Griffin III. He won the NFL Rookie of the Year in 2012. He was a great quarterback who would outrun defenders and throw the ball down the field.

He was seen as the second coming of Michael Vick in his prime. But, injuries the following season hurt RG3 that derailed his career. This showed how mobile quarterbacks were not going to be able to survive in the NFL.

It is possible for black quarterbacks to change their styles, but what if they didn't have to? I think we would see the rise of great black quarterbacks like Deshaun Watson, come into the fold. The risk is too much though. A franchise quarterback should be able to be efficient for at least eight to ten years.

But, if you continuely get banged up from tackles then your style of play would be looked down upon. Also, another reason is because the NFL is made up of players in their 20s to their late 30s. Not everyone is able to keep up with the fast pace style of mobile pocket passers.

It would be foolish to not mention that sometimes race can play a part in a black quarterback not starting. That is a reality we have seen in the past and it will not go away soon. But, I think that ideal is few in numbers because it is a given that a coach, an owner would want a Tom Brady instead of a Kelly Bryant type player. Brady is in his late 30s and whether you love him or hate him.

You have to admit, the guy knows how to win consistently and stay healthy. I do not want people to continually play the race card for the shortage of black quarterbacks in the NFL. I believe we can see an increase if the style of play in the NFL changes. Until then, we just have to patient and enjoy football no matter who is at the helm, whether they be black or white.

Cover Image Credit: www.si.com

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No, Helicopter High Schools, Not Every Cheerleader Should Make The Team

We can't keep babying this generation.

If you haven't heard about it already, a high school in New Jersey made a rule that states every girl that tries out for the high school cheerleading squad has to make the team. If this doesn't scream spoiled with participation trophy at the end of it, then I don't know what does.

This new regulation was put in place after a mother of a girl that didn't make the cheerleading squad complained to the school.

Many young women who put in the hard work were clearly upset about this order. What they had to say made complete sense, but it didn't make a difference to the mother that so badly wanted her daughter to be a cheerleader.

One of the fellow cheerleaders said, "I did not put in 18 months of work to lead up to this moment just to be told that it didn't matter anymore." Another expressed, "It is unfair to me and every cheerleader who earned their spots to change the rules after tryouts are over." Although these statements are clear enough, one young woman was especially upset. As well as the other cheerleaders, she went up in front of the school board in tears and said "I've tried my hardest-- and everything's going away because of one child who did not make the team and their parent complained. So now all my hard work has been thrown out the window."

Cheerleading on top of other sports takes demanding hours not only physically but mentally and academically. In order to be a top athlete on any team, you must do what is expected of you and more. These young women have more than likely spent most of their childhood and the beginning of their adulthood training for this sport, why would someone want to take that feeling of success away from them? I'll tell you why.

Nowadays, if someone isn't treated equally (even if they don't have the talent, technique, or expertise) the world and media breaks down into shambles and turns into a soup sandwich. Teams, corporations, and groups have been destroyed in recent years because someone who did not get their way wants to complain, although they aren't qualified.

For any other sport, there are only so many spots for people to play on the team. If too many kids are allotted a spot on the team, then some children will have to sit the bench. This alone causes crisis within the team because players get upset when they aren't getting playing time and this all falls back on the coach.

Playing sports builds character, dedication, integrity and other great traits. The reason these characteristics are obtained is due to the time that young athletes put in. If they don't have to make sacrifices and devote their time then these features will never be developed. Aside from winning and the feeling of success and triumphant teamwork, establishing these qualities and reaching for excellence is the reason why children choose to play sports.

Athletes work hard to earn spots, be mentioned in the newspaper, win awards, and get recognition for all of the outstanding things that they do. These things shouldn't be given to people that don't work for them.

Participation trophies shouldn't be handed out like candy, parents need to stop babying their kids, and mom's and dad's need to prepare their children for the real world. If we let this ongoing trend keep multiplying within households before you know it everyone is going to feel like they are entitled to everything... as if they don't act that way already.

Cover Image Credit: Macey Mullins

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The NFL's New National Anthem Policy Is A Slap In The Face To The First Amendment

Enforced speech, of any kind, is antithetical to those of us who uphold the First Amendment.

On Wednesday, May 23rd, the NFL announced the implementation of a new policy requiring that "All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and the [National] Anthem."

Although the policy includes a provision that "Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room or in a similar location off the field until after the Anthem has been performed," I can't help but notice the parallels between this policy and Canada's Bill C-16 (which is what drew international attention to Dr. Jordan Peterson), due to the enforced speech ensconced in their mere existence.

Of course, I understand that one is a government entity and the other is a professional sports league and, in my opinion, enforced speech from a government entity tiptoes the boundary of tyranny much more closely than a professional sports league. However, what's important here is the principle of the matter. Not to mention that the NFL isn't exactly disconnected from the government since it receives billions in taxpayer subsidies.

Furthermore, I'm also aware that Bill C-16 enforces its citizens to use certain speech and the new policy from the NFL prevents its members from using certain speech, and that there is a difference between the two, strictly speaking. But enforced speech encompasses both compelling certain speech and silencing certain speech.

Presumably, most people who are supporting the NFL's decision were outraged over Google firing James Damore for his memo regarding diversity at Google, Mozilla firing Brendan Eich for donating to a traditional marriage campaign in California and ESPN firing Curt Schilling due to his views on transwomen using the same bathroom as his daughter.

If we, as conservatives, are going to have any semblance of intellectual consistency in our beliefs, then we have to condemn the silencing and firing of those who have different political views than us with the same tenacity that we condemn the silencing and firing of those who have similar political views as us.

This is not to say that behavior we disagree with shouldn't be subjected to criticism, but we cannot support measures that suppress the expression of those we disagree with if we simultaneously take up arms against the suppression of our expression.

The arena of professional sports is a unique case when it comes to these matters because, while on one hand, the NFL is a private entity, its players are all public figures. The field is their platform. And expressing their beliefs, as public figures, on their platform shouldn't be a point of regulation, especially since that expression surrounds something that doesn't pertain to their team or the NFL.

As a body of individuals who want to take on the role of Defenders of the First Amendment, we have to understand that our defense of the First Amendment doesn't end with those we agree with, but with those we disagree with the most.

Which is why this provision from the NFL should feel like a slap in the face to those of us who hold the First Amendment in the highest regards, and shouldn't be a cause for celebration.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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