Thursday, September 11, 2008

NFL Sportswriter on Problems for Black QBs Raised Without Fathers

Most people are aware of Bill Cosby's highly criticized call on black parents to raise their kids right, stress education and take responsibility for their own actions and failures. All the black "leaders" like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton et al -- the primary promoters of the "All Black's Are Victims of America's Racism" mentality -- piled on Cosby.

The point is that Bill Cosby did something almost no prominent Black celebrity of his stature has dared to do in public before...tell the TRUTH about the problems in the Black Community in America...and the truth is that the absence of Fathers in the Black Family raises boys with he inability to handle pressure, authority and are plagued with self-esteem issues.

A corollary to the ongoing issue of race and the State of the Black Community has been a long, ongoing debate amongst NFL players, coaches, managers, owners and fans...the Black QuarterBack - and whether or not racism is a key factor in the success or failure of Black QB's and whether or not racism plays a role in the number of Black QB's that currently have starting jobs in the NFL.

Rush Limbaugh caused a firestorm of media controversy a few years ago when he criticized the mainstream sports media for overrating Donovan McNabb because they were so desirous to see a Black QB succeed...he rightfully called them on their political correctness in overrating the success of the than struggling McNabb.

McNabb has since gone on to become a premiere franchise QB for the Eagles and a perennial Pro Bowler and continually leads the Eagles to playoff births consistently (when avoids the injury-bug, that is.)

While McNabb has virtually put such criticisms behind him through his continual improvement over the years since Rush called the media on their politically correct narrative...there have been a number of high profile Black QB's that have recently made negative headlines in the NFL recently: Michael Vick's extraordinary fall from grace over his dog fighting involvement, Daunte Culpepper's retirement announcement in which he hints that racism may be a reason why he hasn't gotten a chance to compete for a starting job, and the latest has been Tennesse Titan's QB, Vince Young and his struggles with learning a new offense and performance at the NFL level under the harsh scrutiny of the media and booing fans.

Enter FOX Sports columnist, Jason Whitlock...who makes a critical point regarding the whole issue of Black QB's, the NFL and "racism." In short, Jason, a Black Sportswriter, says the whole racism angle is bovine dung, the real problem is fatherless boys with no role

From Jason Whitlock's Sad To Say, But Young's Problems Were Predictable:

Vince Young, like a lot of young African-American men, desperately needs to hear the truth from the people who love him. Too often we pave the road to failure for black boys by believing the cure for bigotry — and there is still plenty of bigotry in America — is the ability to recognize it in (and blame it for) everything. That cure has more negative side effects than most of the drugs trumpeted by the pharmaceutical companies in television commercials. That cure serves as a convenient crutch, and turns a talent such as Vince Young into a quitter the moment adversity strikes. That cure helped land Michael Vick in jail.

Everyone told Vince Young and Michael Vick the NFL would be easy. They'd revolutionize the QB position with their legs, and they could pop bottles, roll with a posse and pretend to be Jay-Z in their spare time.

It just doesn't work. Not for Young or Vick. Not for Matt Leinart. Not for anyone who wants to star at the position and avoid the boo-birds.

No one revolutionizes the starting quarterback position. The position revolutionizes the person playing it. Just ask Donovan McNabb. He figured it out and changed his game. Over the objection of idiots, McNabb developed his skills as a pocket passer. He concentrated on becoming a student of the game. If he can stay healthy over the next three or four years, McNabb will surpass Warren Moon as the best black quarterback ever to play the game.

Unfortunately, there are still people, especially black people, who don't appreciate McNabb. They think he let "us" down by de-emphasizing his athleticism, and they criticize him for being cozy with his organization the way Peyton Manning is with the Colts and Brady is with the Patriots.

McNabb doesn't get to enjoy the luxury of being a company man the way other franchise QBs in their prime do.

But McNabb has never threatened to quit or asked out of a game because the Philly fans were too rough. McNabb understands that in some instances the scrutiny of a black quarterback might be a tad more intense than that of a white one. He also understands that the best way to combat it isn't whining. It's performance. It's work ethic. It's professionalism.

It's not a coincidence that McNabb comes from a supportive, two-parent household.

I bring that up not to castigate Vince Young and his mother. I don't even know the story of Young's upbringing.

I raise the issue to point out that in modern professional sports — with the astronomical players' salaries — ownership and management examine the upbringing of the athletes and factor that into their decision-making.

Vick's failure, Young's potential failure and the guaranteed money they were given will make ownership more reluctant to anoint another kid from the 'hood a franchise quarterback straight out of college.

It's not about color. It's about fitting the profile of someone who can handle all that goes along with being an NFL quarterback. If I'm an owner, I spend my quarterback dollars on young men who were raised by strong fathers. It wouldn't be an infallible system, but on average I bet I'd hit more winners than if I turned over the leadership of my team to a kid who isn't used to having a strong male authority figure.

As black people, we need to ask ourselves whether we are doing a good job preparing our boys for positions of immense leadership, responsibility and scrutiny.

You are going to get criticized playing quarterback. If your instinct is to dismiss the criticism as racist, maybe you shouldn't play the position. If you are surrounded by people who spend every waking minute telling you that you can do no wrong and that everyone who criticizes you is a bigot, then maybe you shouldn't play quarterback.

The position requires thick skin and genuine self-confidence. If you need four or five male groupies with you at all times, a half million dollars of jewelry around your neck and wrists and a dozen tattoos to feel confident, then maybe you should play wide receiver or start rapping.

As Instapundit regularly exhorts his readers to the whole thing.


tba said...

Excellent entry, HL. I am a BIG FAN of Jason Whitlock BECAUSE he has the COURAGE to speak the truth when it is necessary.

...and the truth is that the absence of Fathers in the Black Family raises boys with he inability to handle pressure, authority and are plagued with self-esteem issues.

Unfortunately, as a black man who observes my fellow brothers, this is too true. THAT is why so many black men have to hide behind stuff like the amount of cars they have or the amount of women they sleep with. They do not have that internal feeling of self-worth and feel the need to MASK the insecurities behind material possessions, accomplishments and women. And if the possessions, money and women do not fool others, many black men HIDE behind their sunglasses, tattoos and MACHO POSTURING (acting "hard") in the hopes to SCARE others away from seeing inside their SOULS that they are really scared and insecure young BOYS.

It is high time that the issues of the black community with respect to men, women, fathers, and mother be addressed.

Elusive Wapiti said...

A great post HL. To tba's comment I would add that the faux masculinity acquired by fatherless men looks "hard" and is flashy, but is also brittle and shallow. It can't last in the face of adversity.

The irony is that women criticize this masculinity, not realizing that they themselves create and perpetuate it.


I love your blogs, looking forward to your future udates.