22 More on #5….

A story just came through on statements by Donovan McNabb…this is from the AP……..

McNabb, in an interview on “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” tells interviewer James Brown that African-American quarterbacks such as himself face added pressure because there are fewer black QBs — and because some still don’t want black athletes playing the position.

“There’s not that many African-American quarterbacks, so we have to do a little bit extra,” McNabb tells HBO. “Because the percentage of us playing this position, which people didn’t want us to play … is low, so we do a little extra.” In just-completed Week 2, five of the 32 teams (15.6 percent) had black starting quarterbacks. Later in the interview, Brown presses McNabb on criticism of his performance — and if African-American QBs are graded more harshly.”I pass for 300 yards, our team wins by seven, [mimicking] ‘Ah, he could’ve made this throw, they would have scored if he did this,’ ” McNabb tells HBO.

“Doesn’t every quarterback go through that?” Brown asks. “Not everybody,” McNabb replies.Brown then asks if the media is tougher on him than on white quarterbacks such as Carson Palmer and Peyton Manning.

“Let me start by saying I love those guys,” McNabb tells HBO. “But they don’t get criticized as much as we do. They don’t.”

…..I’m not sure McNabb is right or wrong, it’s his opinion, not mine. But what I have a problem with, as I did when Rush Limbaugh made his statements about 4 years ago that the “media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well,” is that it’s a blanket statement with no specifics behind it. I believe this waters down McNabb’s statements. I’d love to hear more from him on this, specific examples.

Donovan plays the most scrutinized position in sports, in arguably the toughest sports city in America. If he thinks Rex Grossman is getting a hall pass in Chicago, I’d like to hear him say so. If he thinks that specific media or specific fans are tougher on African-American quarterbacks, I’d like to hear details.

-Dan

26 Responses

  1. Thank you for being real enough to say this out loud.

  2. I think that when Doug Williams played Donovan’s statement would have held water. I don’t think it’s true in todays game. Ask Eli Manning or Chad Pennington in New York. For heaven’s sake the Jets fans cheered when Chad was injured and had to leave the field. Will we ever get over the black and white issue and just look at everyone as atheletes?

  3. It’s unfortunate that he feels that way. It does appear that he’s scrutinized quite a bit, but I don’t think it’s because he’s black. He’s a QB playing in Philly on a team that went to several NFC Championship games. He’s a good QB, and I think fans and talking heads have high expectations of him. I think Brett Favre gets criticized in a similar fashion. If he’s “gunslinging” it in a game and plays horribly everyone jumps on him wondering why he’s even still playing.

  4. I agree with Dan, it is the blanket statement that bothers me. Please Donovan, provide some examples to make your statement credible. It is almost as if he doesn’t understand that there are 32 Quarterbacks in this league, all getting scrutinized every week, every play, every day. He is a big market quarterback, in the most popular sport in the country…he is going to be scrutinized regardless of his color. Donovan…remember when you were winning? Who was the biggest star in Philadelphia? It is about results, not color

    I also feel as if these types of stories bring up other questions…black owners? black coaches? and black general managers? I don’t know why people always bring these questions up but fail to look at the majority of the players in the NFL are Minority players…something to think about.

  5. He may have a point. JP Losman isn’t getting the harsh press he deserves so much with his anemic performances thus far.

  6. Last time I checked, Donovan McNabb wasn’t half as good as Peyton Manning or Carson Palmer. He should not be comparing himself to those guys right now, he should be comparing himself to somebody like…. oh… say…. Joey Harrington.

    I have watched both of his games so far this year and he has looked horrible. I say that not because he has black skin, but because he has flat out suck in both games. He is trying to deflect all that criticism about his bad play that he deserves right now. He should man up and take responsibility for his play instead of playing the race card and saying that he wouldn’t get criticised if he were a white QB. I bet Rex Grossman would have something to say about that comment. He has been under constant criticism in Chicago for a year and a half straight now. I don’t believe it is because he is white.

    I think that Donovan McNabb is a outstanding quarterback, but if you look at his career, he has had an excuse for every shortcoming he has had. Cry me a river Donovan!

    The bottom line is performance. Sports fans do not care what color you are, if you don’t perform out there, we don’t want to see you out there. That is why backup quarterbacks are so popular. Just ask Jets fans about that….

  7. There is a BIG difference between Buffalo media and Philly media….

  8. i have been a fan of Donavan since Syracuse but why now is he complaining. He was so careful to dodge the T O issue but now he wants to whine? i am not buying it. He is getting old and having trouble letting go.

  9. Everybody has a great point. Philly fans are fair weather fans. If it’s not going like they want then start complaining about the QB because it’s the most high profile position.
    The critizism on Farve is getting greater with each passing game (no pun intended). More and more, fans are ready for him to retire. Personally I love to watch him play and I still think he gives us the best chance to win.

    Getting back to the issue. Why is it that every time something gets tough on a black he throws the race card out? Oh whoa is me, feel sorry for me because I am black but when I am doing well look at the streets I went through to get here, how great am I?

    Black History Month, Negro College fund? Come on…if the white population tried these there would be absolute outrage.

    This has been going on for years and I know that it’s not just the white population that feels this way.

    I am not at all racist, I have quite a few black friends. I am just sick and tired of athletes pushing the blame on the media and public for their poor performance.

    Ok I’ll get off my soapbox now…sorry for the long response.

  10. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but growing up, most of my sports came via a small radio that I would tune each night to an AM station, and listen to my Red Sox. On Sundays, on the drive to the grandparents’ house, we’d listen to the Patriots on the car’s radio. I didn’t know the racial make-up of my teams unless I happen to see a picture in the newspaper, or on a trading card.

    Race made no difference then, and I don’t think it makes a big a difference now. I think the Philly fans are hard on McNabb because they’re Philly fans, regardless of what color or how the Eagles do. McNabb has dealt with serious racism in his past, and I’m sure that is in his thinking as he forms his opinion.

    Coming on the heels of the Mike Vick thing, McNabb’s comments about race seem to be stirring the embers of that whole debate once more. And once more, I think they’re unfounded. I remember watching McNabb when he was under center at Syracuse, and now with the Eagles, and there’s no denying that he’s a talented athlete. But he doesn’t have anyone to throw to, and no matter how many times he passes the ball, if there’s no one who can catch it, the play (and the point) is moot.

    Another factor playing into this is the fact that McNabb has another 7 years left on his contract, which doesn’t leave a whole lot of options for a player who is obviously unhappy in Philadelphia.

    Cheers.

  11. Of course, anyone that believes that race doesn’t figure heavily in some of the day-to-day considerations of people in decision-making positions is naive.

    I think that sometimes an African American, although given consideration, has a lower threshold of when he or she may be deemed “incapable” or unable to HOLD a position. It’s the old proverbial “shorter leash”.

    Nonetheless….and it’s been this way even when segregation ruled the day…..win the games, entertain the people, do what you’re hired to do and do it WELL? Trust me, race won’t matter. You’ll be the most loved (your profession here) in the world. Usually, in sports, when they don’t like you on the field of play, you didn’t perform. Period.

  12. To Mike in Green Bay:

    You forgot to say how articulate Donovan McNabb is.

    Ducking,

  13. What is percent of black players in the NFL vs. the percent of white players? What is the ratio? Race, Race, Race give it a rest. After the Rush Limbaugh incident, I would of thought that McNabb would be the last “black” player to bring it back up.

    What’s next? Brett Farve decision not to retire is simply ploy to ensure one less black QB in the league.

    GIVE ME A BREAK!!

  14. Another good point made, Philly’s media is much rougher than Indy’s or Cincy’s. Eli has been getting crushed.

    Also, in my opinion Philiadelphia is one of the most racist cities in the U.S. Maybe Philly is nto the best place for a struggling, hyper-sensitive, black QB.

  15. As a Canadian, I don’t understand this whole race thing. Why is it every time when someone makes a fair and honest comment regarding a Black individual, the race card is automatically thrown. No matter what the issue is (Barriod, Vick and his dogs, Snipes tax issue, NBA dress code…) , it all ends up being “it’s racist”.

    I don’t get it. What about the all facts. And all the circumstances. And everything else in between. Is it that difficult to…think?!?!

  16. I think Kordell Stewart had a rough time of it when with the Pittsburgh Steelers and came under intense scrutiny. I remember fans complaining bitterly about him, especially in 2001.

  17. How can anyone take McNabb seriously after hearing his comments? Maybe it’s just too hard for him to be objective about his own performance, but to blame the criticism on racism is way off the mark. It sounds as if James Brown tried to give him a chance to revise his answers and for whatever reason Donovan McNabb used the opportunity to make matters worse. My impression of McNabb in the past was that he was an intelligent, dignified, man whose job was playing quarterback. That image has now been sullied.

  18. Hi Dan,
    I agree with most of the posts here today.I’m an Eagles fan, have been since the mid seventies. I watched Donovan while he was at Syracuse, and unlike so many others, I was thrilled the Eagles drafted him in 98/99. He was a playmaker, and if he were healthy, he would still be that, a playmaker. His mobility has hampered him so far this year. He has looked terrible in the two games he has played thus far. This is not the color of his skin, this is his ability ,or lack thereof to do the things we have seen him do in the past. Top 5 quarterback? When healthy, absolutely, now, no, I dropped him from my fantasy team after Monday night. He flat out sucked, and the color of his skin had nothing to do with it. As I have said in other postings to you, Philly is a tough town. Hungry for a champion to call their own. Donovan has gotten the Eagles close on numerous occaisions, but close only counts………….Has he worn out his welcome in Philly?Probably, but he will fail wherever he goes playing like he has recently. Fans grow weary of the ” oh well, we’ll get em next year?” Next year is now, and there are no substitutes . Fans will always be glad to help you out, sometimes they just need to know the doorway you came in. Win or go home, that’s just the way it is, and you can be any color of anything, if you have an “L” on your forehead, you become the victim of the ridicule. For the record, I don’t recall Randall Cunningham having these issues, but then Buddy Ryan was there feeding the Media frenzy with his whatever you want to call it.

  19. 2 Things, 1) Does he remember what town he plays in? How could he not have a complex and 2) Why did he feel the need to say it? Why now?

  20. I haven’t seen #5’s remarks in the context of the interview, but I don’t find his remarks surprising.

    In today’s NFL, Donovan’s a good starting quarterback. But growing up, he was eyed suspiciously as a black quarterback. He had to go to Syracuse to find a team willing to develop him and his passing talents. I’ve heard him quoted as saying that, when it comes to bad things he encounters, he can forget, but he can’t forgive. That quote always struck me as sad, but telling.

    I don’t think he has a lot of love for Philadelphia. I think it started on draft day, a day he’s never forgiven Philadelphia for. Donovan has always been sensitive to those who might hold him back. He puts extra pressure on himself to succeed. When he has succeeded, he’s been easy for Philadelphia to love.

    But in addition to the pressure of winning, I’ve long believed that Donovan set himself a personal mission of ending the stereotype of the black quarterback. The racial overtones that come with his position are personal to him. He has wanted to be a role model for kids growing up the way he did. He has wanted them to see in him their own potential, the way Donovan looked at Doug Williams.

    Yesterday Shaun King (on ESPN) and Rodney Peete (on Fox) echoed Donovan’s sentiments that black QBs don’t get the same number of chances to develop or fail as their white counterparts. Whether it’s reps or roster spots they often feel squeezed out.

    Yes, the fans in Philly are fickle and demanding. Yes, Donovan didn’t deserve the Limbaugh stuff. But I think the fan reaction to Jeff Garcia last year hurt more in the McNabb family than just Donovan’s mom. And this year, when the Eagles drafted Kolb, Donovan also started to feel squeezed out.

    So this season #5 has a chip on his shoulder that’s bigger than ever. Donovan wants to answer his critics yet again. Now he’s starting out hurt, which is going to make things even harder for him.

    McNabb has been a very good QB who made a big splash quickly, with very little supporting cast on offense. He’s had some great years, for which Philadelphia should love him. He wants to be remembered as one of the great QBs of his era, which he is. But unless he can get back to the Super Bowl again, he’ll be remembered most as the guy who got there once, but who got hurt a lot.

  21. *sigh*

    Pretty sure I’m not allowed to say anything. I’m just a white chick from the suburbs… what do I know?

  22. Wouldn’t it be better (read: more accurate) to say that quaterbacks in general bear the brunt of criticism in the NFL. If you had the time to make lists, you could probably match a black name with a white name of those men playing quarterback that face seemingly heightened pressure. I’ll start you off based on our Pittsburgh Steelers…….Kordell Stewart / Neil O’Donnell. Its been said before; they get more credit than they deserve when things are going well and more blame when things are tanking. Enough of this going out of your way to make black/white differences Donovan.

  23. Great to hear you today on the Mike Tirico show—fantastic job of dodging questions on what you will be doing in October!

    Love to hear your comments on the Red Sox.

    Claire

  24. “Doesn’t every quarterback go through that?” Brown asks. “Not everybody,” McNabb replies.

    Hey D-Mac, there’s a young fella in NYC named Eli that’s got a pretty pasty complexion that might disagree. Also see Grossman, Rex in Chi-town.

    Philly booed Michael Jack Schmidt, Eric Lindros & Santa.
    But I guess they didn’t have to do “a little extra.”

    -Damien
    6’1”, 170

  25. I’m a lifelong Green Bay Packer and Brett Favre fan. Prior to a Philly-GB playoff game a couple of years ago, a Philly paper printed a vile “letter” to Brett Favre. It was a viscious and insulting personal attack on a man who’s only crime was that he was a fierce competitor and great football player.

    Favre went on to lose the game, in rather ignominious fashion.

    Did he blame his unsophisticated Southern upbringing; his past drug and alcohol abuse; his broken thumb; his father, who had recently passed away; or the fact that he’d laid awake the nights before the game hoping his young daughters weren’t reading the filth printed about him – for failing to meet the enormous expectations placed on him to win?

    No.

    He came back to the team, fans and game that he loves, determined to move beyond his poor play and prove his critics wrong.

    That’s what true competitors, true winners, do.

    Donovan is starting to look like a loser.

  26. Rush Limbaugh said it all whn he did. The media was just scared to get on that island with him because it was politicaly incorrect. McNabb is horrible not just over rated.

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