I could end this story with just these two evaluations.
“I think he’s a wide receiver and a dynamic wide receiver.” Bill Polian on Lamar Jackson. He cited concerns about his frame, accuracy and penchant to take off and run.
— Dan Kadar (@MockingTheDraft) January 19, 2018
Mel Kiper: Lamar Jackson's completion % leaves questions about his ability to be accurate enough in the NFL.
Everyone watching: Josh Allen's (your #1 overall) completion is worse than Lamar's & Lamar played a much tougher schedule.
Kiper: Stats are for losers……..
— Mark Blankenbaker (@UofLSheriff50) January 18, 2018
I just want to be clear about one thing; this isn’t about the players. I hope every player that gets drafted has a long and fruitful NFL career.
This is about hypocrisy in the media and margin of error for people of color. I want to present to you a quote from Tyrod Taylor.
“It’s always going to be twice as bad just because of who I am – an African-American quarterback,” Taylor says, echoing a familiar refrain among people of color, regardless of professional status. “Look across the league, man. We’re held to a certain standard. We almost have to be perfect.”
Pressed on the subject, he continues.
“I wouldn’t say it’s just an African-American quarterback thing. It’s an African-American athlete thing – or just an African-American thing,” he says, “And that’s not anything I just found out. It’s been that way since I was a kid.”
When you hear Mel Kiper rattle off statistical reasons why Lamar Jackson isn’t a first-round pick and then in the same breath say stats are for losers when asked about Josh Allen struggles in the Mountain West, that is what Tyrod Taylor is referring to.
When Bill Polian casually says that Lamar Jackson should be a receiver without ever watching a full game of Jackson at Louisville or even knowing if Jackson catch that is openly stereotyping.
No matter if it’s sports, politics or just everyday life. Being a person of color in America means you playing from a 14-0 deficit before you walk out the door. People like Bill Polian will always see black athletes in their most stereotypical form so can’t be surprised #BSOTV pic.twitter.com/SoAMOeqYv3
— Robert Littal (@BSO) January 19, 2018
You hear people say Lamar Jackson has injury concerns even though he never missed one game at Lousiville, that is just being lazy.
Our society now makes it easy to openly stereotype people of color, because their President does it all the time. A President who will call black football players sons of bitches but says KKK members are fine people.
Black people have to be perfect, white people can fail up, and multiple excuses are made for them. It happens in politics where you can still almost win a Senate seat even though you are a pedophile, so you can’t be surprised it happens in sports.
If Deshaun Watson were white, he would have been the #1 pick in the draft. There is no metric alive that showed that Mitch Tribusky and Pat Mahomes were better quarterbacks than him besides the color of their skin.
There is no metric that Josh Allen is a better quarterback than Lamar Jackson besides he is tall and white. If Josh Allen was a black quarterback, he’d be a looked at as a mid-round pick. He’d be Cardale Jones.
No one knows how any of these quarterbacks will turn out in the NFL and frankly we know that teams can fall in love with a player and that can change their draft stock. We know black quarterbacks have been taken high in the draft regardless of the racial overtones of their draft evaluation (see Cam Newton for example). But, the margin of error is smaller no matter if you are drafted #1 or #60.
Lamar Jackson may only get one shot to prove he can play quarterback in the NFL. The minute he falters all the stereotypical language that has been pushed into people’s mind will come back.
I speak to players from time to time, and one thing I point out to them is when you are black, whatever you do is going to be seen in a stereotypical light. The language that is going to be used to describe you is going to be stereotypical even if you are doing things similar to your white counterparts.
Using Bill Polian’s theory, Josh Allen should be considering a change to Tight End. I have never heard of a white quarterback sans Tim Tebow who had flaws in their game to change positions even before they had a chance to work out for teams. Ryan Tannhill was a better WR in college than he was a QB and no one ever suggested he might be better in the NFL as a wide receiver. This is something white quarterbacks never have to worry about because they know they will get the opportunities to grow and learn the positions. They will be allowed to have growing pains and the media will always make excuses for them. We set the bar low for white quarterbacks, that when they are just average like Blake Bortles they are propped up like conquering heroes. Black quarterbacks and people never afford such luxuries. There are people who still question Russel Wilson someone who has never missed a start, been to two super bowls (won one) and has to carry a team with no running game and a terrible offensive line. If Russell Wilson was white, his bust would already be made in Canton.
Like Tyrod Taylor said that is an African-American life thing, not just an NFL thing. We should be at a place where we can evaluate players without doing this, but we aren’t there yet and maybe we will.
Because the President can cheat on his wife with a porn star and become more popular, while people still talking about President Obama’s birth certificate.