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?
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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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To The Coach Who Took Away My Confidence

You had me playing in fear.
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"The road to athletic greatness is not marked by perfection, but the ability to constantly overcome adversity and failure."

As a coach, you have a wide variety of players. You have your slow players, your fast players. You have the ones that are good at defense. You have the ones that are good at offense. You have the ones who would choose to drive and dish and you have the ones that would rather shoot the three. You have the people who set up the plays and you have the people who finish them. You are in charge of getting these types of players to work together and get the job done.

Sure, a coach can put together a pretty set of plays. A coach can scream their head off in a game and try and get their players motivated. A coach can make you run for punishment, or they can make you run to get more in shape. The most important role of a coach, however, is to make the players on their team better. To hopefully help them to reach their fullest potential. Players do make mistakes, but it is from those mistakes that you learn and grow.

To the coach the destroyed my confidence,

You wanted to win, and there was nothing wrong with that. I saw it in your eyes if I made a mistake, you were not too happy, which is normal for a coach. Turnovers happen. Players miss shots. Sometimes the girl you are defending gets past you. Sometimes your serve is not in bounds. Sometimes someone beats you in a race. Sometimes things happen. Players make mistakes. It is when you have players scared to move that more mistakes happen.

I came on to your team very confident in the way that I played the game. Confident, but not cocky. I knew my role on the team and I knew that there were things that I could improve on, but overall, I was an asset that could've been made into an extremely great player.

You paid attention to the weaknesses that I had as a player, and you let me know about them every time I stepped onto the court. You wanted to turn me into a player I was not. I am fast, so let me fly. You didn't want that. You wanted me to be slow. I knew my role wasn't to drain threes. My role on the team was to get steals. My role was to draw the defense and pass. You got mad when I drove instead of shot. You wanted me to walk instead of run. You wanted me to become a player that I simply wasn't. You took away my strengths and got mad at me when I wasn't always successful with my weaknesses.

You did a lot more than just take away my strengths and force me to focus on my weaknesses. You took away my love for the game. You took away the freedom of just playing and being confident. I went from being a player that would take risks. I went from being a player that was not afraid to fail. Suddenly, I turned into a player that questioned every single move that I made. I questioned everything that I did. Every practice and game was a battle between my heart and my head. My heart would tell me to go to for it. My heart before every game would tell me to just not listen and be the player that I used to be. Something in my head stopped me every time. I started wondering, "What if I mess up?" and that's when my confidence completely disappeared.

Because of you, I was afraid to fail.

You took away my freedom of playing a game that I once loved. You took away the relaxation of going out and playing hard. Instead, I played in fear. You took away me looking forward to go to my games. I was now scared of messing up. I was sad because I knew that I was not playing to my fullest potential. I felt as if I was going backward and instead of trying to help me, you seemed to just drag me down. I'd walk up to shoot, thinking in my head, "What happens if I miss?" I would have an open lane and know that you'd yell at me if I took it, so I just wouldn't do it.

SEE ALSO: The Coach That Killed My Passion

The fight to get my confidence back was a tough one. It was something I wish I never would've had to do. Instead of becoming the best player that I could've been, I now had to fight to become the player that I used to be. You took away my freedom of playing a game that I loved. You took away my good memories in a basketball uniform, which is something I can never get back. You can be the greatest athlete in the world, but without confidence, you won't go very far.

Cover Image Credit: Christina Silies

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Love, A True Fan

Yes I love this team, yes they are good, no I do not love them because they are good.

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I love my hometown. It is cute, we have good schools, and the people are generally nice.

What I do not love about my hometown is how close it is to Cleveland.

Don't get me wrong, I love the CLE, I just don't love the Browns.

I can remember being a passionate Steelers fan as far back as the third grade, which means I can also remember people arguing with me about football as far back as the third grade. Growing up being rivals with the home team, especially as a girl, was never easy because everyone just assumed I liked Pittsburgh because they were a good team. They quickly learned that I knew exactly what I was talking about and would quickly put anyone who questioned my knowledge on the sport or the team in their place.

All things considered, I've had a good sports fan life.

Just in my lifetime, I've seen my Steelers play in three Super Bowls, and win two. I've seen the Pittsburgh Penguins play in four Stanley Cup Finals, and win three, and I was at the 2017 Victory Parade. I shared in the happy shock when the Cavaliers came back from being down 3-1 in the NBA Finals and beat the Warriors for the first championship in Cleveland in over 50 years. I watched the Cleveland Indians play in the World Series, and last year I watched one of my favorite college football teams win the SEC, the Rose Bowl, and play in the National Championship.

So yeah, I can see how you'd accuse me of being a bandwagon fan, and why when the Steelers and Penguins both won championships in 2009 the other fifth graders in my class thought I just picked two teams who were good, but that does not mean it is true.

I know my teams, and my sports, well, and honestly, I've grown to love people challenging me on sports. No one expected an elementary school girl to be able to back herself up so well with football knowledge that the boys who actually played football knew they could not win that argument.

Yes, my teams have done well, but I have some connection to all of my teams, whether it be family or where I grew up, and I don't only care that they've won big games (although I'm not complaining).

Everyone tells me that I haven't really experienced what it is like to watch one of my teams struggle, but I have every intention on being just as devoted to my teams through those times as I was when they were winning. I was devoted to the Penguins in December of 2015 when they were thought to not be capable of making the playoffs that year so they fired their coach. I'll still wear my Cavaliers gear, despite the fact that they are struggling without LeBron. I'll be there when the Ben Roethlisberger retires and the Steelers' offense stinks because we never drafted a good back-up quarterback. And I'm already mentally preparing myself for the disaster that could come during this year's SEC Championship between Georgia and Alabama.

So don't take it out on me that your team is having a losing season, because I would love to have an in depth conversation with you about how the Cleveland Browns will never truly be good until they restructure their entire management and stop firing coaches every two years, despite how many Heisman winners they draft. And I'd love to tell you all about how the Penguins will never truly be down and out because Sidney Crosby really is the best player in the world, and I'll tell you why it's not Connor McDavid or Alex Ovechkin.

Here's to Super Bowls, Stanley Cups, and championships of all kinds. Everyone should experience what it's like to see your team win one, but be ready when they do because suddenly everyone wants to question how deep your loyalty runs when they do. But don't worry, I can back up why I love my teams, can you?

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