more than any position in sport, the…quarterback was…tied to the vilest presumptions of…racism. There are reasons why James Harris didn’t break pro football’s barrier until twenty-two years after Jackie Robinson broke pro baseball’s. There are reasons why the last four positions to be desegregated in pro football were the four with the most decision-making responsibility: free safety, middle linebacker, center, and quarterback.
Nice post. Regarding this quote…
In football chatter, it is almost always white quarterbacks like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, of the Patriots, who are extolled for their study habits and on-the-field analysis.
…I’ve found that the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson is commonly lauded for the same traits. And in terms of his playing style, he’s often compared to Fran Tarkenton—versus more contemporary, predominantly black quarterbacks who fit the dual-threat categorization—for his mobility. So maybe this particular tendency in football commentary is beginning to change. I hope so.
But part of me suspects it’s merely an aberration rather than a long-term trend. Wilson has largely escaped the racialized sports tropes addressed in the New Yorker post, but his peers—from Cam Newton to RGIII—haven’t been so lucky. Maybe it’s because Seattle has consistently won during Wilson’s time as a starter. But so has San Francisco, yet Colin Kaepernick has still had to endure his share of nastiness.
"Unlike many black people then, I was determined not to be what society said I was. Thank God I had the ability to play a violent game like football. It gave me an outlet for the anger in my heart."
Football Hall of Fame defensive end Deacon Jones, who died yesterday
"Some of those hits, I look at some of that—that’s football. It’s a dangerous sport. We signed up for it. They don’t pay us $5.95 an hour. They pay you quite a bit to go out there and take chances, and in that sense, that’s really what the game is about."
Michael Strahan, in an interview with Ad Age
"Let’s face it: If the 267-page report released Thursday by ex-FBI director Louis Freeh didn’t prove once and for all that Penn State displayed the dreaded ‘lack of institutional control’ in its cover-up of allegations that former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky molested young boys, what in the world constitutes a major violation in the eyes of the NCAA?"
Mark Schlabach, ESPN.com