The Other McCain

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Rams Win the ‘White Supremacy’ Bowl

Posted on | February 15, 2022 | Comments Off on Rams Win the ‘White Supremacy’ Bowl

Super Bowl LVI will go down in history as one of the great triumphs of systemic racism, in which the Los Angeles Rams — with white head coach Sean McVay and white quarterback Matt Stafford — defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, with white coach Zac Taylor and white quarterback Joe Burrow. This is almost certainly part of the NFL’s white supremacist conspiracy, according to a lawsuit by former Miami Dolphins head coach and (victim of racism) Brian Flores.

Former New England Patriot defensive end Jason Bequette comments:

If we want an NFL that proportionally “looks like America,” as Joe Biden is so fond of saying, then 3 or 4 of the 32 head coaches, general managers, and team owners would be black, but 75 percent of the players would be white or Hispanic. It’s doubtful that Flores is advocating for two-thirds of black players to be fired and replaced with whites. Is there any reason, other than “discrimination,” why NFL rosters are still 100 percent male? Why is neither team in the upcoming Super Bowl starting a transgender female at left tackle?

(Hat-tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.) Bequette regards the Flores lawsuit as without merit, and a consequence of the NFL’s so-called “Rooney Rule.” Once the league decided to establish a de facto quota system for hiring coaches and front-office personnel, it was inevitable that someone would eventually claim the system wasn’t working and demand more. This is true in every situation where “diversity” becomes an organizational goal, because no matter how much is done to ensure “equity,” there will always be someone with a grievance, who feels they’ve been cheated somehow, and who blames racism for their misfortunes.

And, just by the way, I hate that it’s Brian Flores doing this. Flores, who spent more than a decade as an assistant with the Patriots, is actually a good coach, who turned around the Dolphins, producing back-to-back winning seasons (10-6 in 2020 and 9-7 this past season), which was the first time in 20 years that Miami had consecutive winning seasons. I hate to see a good coach ruin his reputation by filing a lawsuit like this, and I also hate it because the Flores firing in Miami involves an Alabama alumni, Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. It has been reported that the Dolphins owners and management are committed to Tagovailoa as the future of their franchise, while Flores wasn’t a big Tua fan, to put it mildly. There were other problems in Miami — Flores, a defensive specialist, kept firing offensive coordinators — but the fact that my guy Tua is at the center of this controversy is personally painful to me as an Alabama fan. I want all Crimson Tide players to succeed in the NFL, because pro success helps recruiting, so the fact that Flores’ doubts about Tua’s ability led directly to this ugly lawsuit is bad for ’Bama.

Beyond that, however, can we talk about The Black Quarterback Issue?

Rush Limbaugh got fired from ESPN for raising this issue, so we all know we’re not supposed to talk about it, but the enforced silence — at least in official sports coverage — is making things worse, because astute football fans can see what’s happening with their own eyes, and yet nobody is allowed to talk about it on TV, which can give rise to racial paranoia.

To boil it down into a nutshell: Three decades ago, there were almost no black quarterbacks in the NFL. Doug Williams of the Washington Redskins was the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl, in 1988, which was rightly celebrated as repudiating the belief that black players didn’t have the “intangibles” (whatever that means) to play the most demanding position in the game. Since then, however, only six black quarterbacks (Steve McNair, Donovan McNabb, Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton and Patrick Mahomes) have made it to the Super Bowl, and only two of those (Wilson in 2014 and Mahomes in 2020) have won the Super Bowl. So, of the past 34 Super Bowls, white quarterbacks won 30 of them, which is interpreted as proof of either (a) white supremacy or (b) white supremacy. By which I mean, some people think white success (in football or anything else) proves that white people actually are superior (i.e., white supremacy) while other people think such disproportionate outcomes are evidence that the system is rigged against minorities (i.e., white supremacy). The fact that both of these competing and mutually exclusive theories can be called “white supremacy” should tell us something about the complexity of the problem, but the real problem is that it’s hurting football.

If you watched Sunday’s pregame show, you know that the NFL, in an apparent effort to defend itself against absurd accusations of racism, rather bent over backward to appease their accusers, and the halftime show likewise seemed to be a sort of minstrel show of “wokeness,” evidently based on the idea that black people don’t actually like football, but must also have a hiphop halftime program. Am I exaggerating this, or did other people get the same vibe? It’s impossible to say, because nobody in the media is allow to discuss these things at risk of being “cancelled,” which in turn means that the NFL never gets any honest feedback about its ostentatious “diversity” efforts.

But somebody has to tell them: You’re trying too hard.

Every mature and reasonably observant person understands this about race relations, i.e., that the best thing to do is to mind your own business, and avoid turning everything into a racial issue. Whatever your opinions about race may be, in your day-to-day interactions, it is best to carry on as if you don’t even notice such things. Especially if you’re a white person, you’re not really helping matters by engaging in performative wokeness, and that’s the real problem with the NFL’s approach.

Once the sports media became obsessed with The Black Quarterback Issue, it gave rise to a sort of competition among teams: “Oh, the Eagles have a black quarterback, so probably we need to draft one, too.” This had a trickle-down effect because, if NFL teams were making an extra effort to find black quarterbacks, this demand-side imbalance encouraged college coaches to feed the supply side of that market. And this in turn gave rise to implicit suspicions of racism for any team that didn’t have a black quarterback. Suppose, for example, that the University of North Carolina had a black starting quarterback, while their ACC rival Clemson had a white starting quarterback. If having a black quarterback is a proxy for “equity” (as some in the sports media seemed to believe), then wouldn’t Clemson be suspected of racism? And isn’t it likely that, in the recruiting process, this suspicion would work to Clemson’s disadvantage? Of course it would, and therefore college coaches became even more desperate to recruit black quarterbacks, with the result that talented white quarterbacks were often underrated.

Take the case of Joe Burrow, for example. Burrow comes from an exceptional family of athletes, his father having played for Nebraska and the Green Bay Packers before coaching for more than three decades. As a high school quarterback in Athens, Ohio, Burrow led his team to three straight playoff appearances, and was recruited by Ohio State University. You might think Burrow would have been set for an outstanding career at OSU, except for this one fact: The Buckeyes haven’t had a white quarterback since 2011. The starting QBs at OSU over the past decade were Braxton Miller (2011-2013), J.T. Barrett (2014-2017), Dwayne Haskins (2018), Justin Fields (2019-2020) and C.J. Stroud (2021) — 100% black. NO WHITE QUARTERBACKS, PERIOD — that’s the rule at Ohio State, apparently, and after two seasons as backup to Barrett, Joe Burrow figured out the rule, and transferred to LSU, where he immediately became the starting QB. In 2018, Burrow led the Tigers to a 10-3 record. In 2019, Burrow led LSU to an undefeated season and beat Clemson 42-25 for the national championship. Burrow threw for 463 yards and five touchdowns against Clemson, finishing the season with 5,671 yards passing. But he never started at Ohio State.

What about the quarterback the Buckeyes chose ahead of Burrow? Dwayne Haskins had a great year in 2018, setting all kinds of school records as the Buckeyes finished 13-1 and Haskins was named MVP of the Rose Bowl. Drafted in the first round by the Washington Redskins in 2019, Haskins played two seasons there before being released. Justin Fields also had an excellent career as Ohio State’s starting quarterback, compiling a 20-2 record and two Big Ten Championships, before being drafted by the Chicago Bears in 2021. The one thing neither Haskins nor Fields did at Ohio State was win a national championship, like Burrow did at LSU. And as for their NFL careers, neither of them has made it to a Super Bowl yet, as Burrow did with the previously hopeless Bengals.

Look, I’m not saying Joe Burrow’s success is proof of racial superiority, but what I am saying is that discriminating against white quarterbacks — which is what Ohio State is obviously doing — isn’t smart football.

The NFL’s obsession with racial “equity” in coaching positions is similarly stupid. The absurdity of the “Rooney Rule,” says Jason Bequette, “can be illustrated by simply applying it to NFL roster vacancies”:

Imagine if every NFL team were forced to invite a white cornerback into training camp every season. No NFL team has started a white cornerback since Jason Sehorn in 2002. A white cornerback who fulfilled a team’s obligation under a “Sehorn Rule” would feel insecure and teammates would feel resentful, even if the player was qualified for the position and seriously considered for the job.

Far be it from me to say that no white guy will ever again play cornerback in the NFL, but I’m certainly not going to endorse some kind of quota system in order to ensure that white players get their “fair share” of cornerback positions. Currently, about 60% of NFL players are black, 25% are white and 15% are “other.” As long as NFL rosters are determined by ability and performance, I do not care if white players are “underrepresented” in the league, nor do I think anyone else should care. What I suspect, however, is that many coaches may be guilty of stereotypical thinking in such a way that some white players are overlooked. Consider, for example, the case of Cooper Kupp.

He was the Super Bowl MVP, with eight catches for 92 yards and 2 TDs.

In four seasons at Eastern Washington University, Kupp caught 428 passes for 6,464 yards and 73 touchdowns. Those are certainly impressive stats but . . . a white wide receiver?

To quote Joe Biden, “C’mon, man.” Everybody knows only black players can be wide receivers in the NFL. And so Kupp was not drafted until the third round, the 69th player overall in the 2017 NFL draft.

Six other wide receivers were drafted ahead of Kupp that year: Corey Davis (Western Michigan, Tennessee Titans, 1st round, 5th overall), Mike Williams (Clemson, LA Chargers, 1st round, 7th overall), John Ross (Washington, Cincinnati Bengals, 1st round, 9th overall), Zay Jones, East Carolina, 2nd round, 37th overall), Curtis Samuel (Ohio State, Carolina Panthers, 2nd round, 40th overall), and JuJu Smith-Schuster (USC, Pittsburgh Steelers, 2nd round, 62nd overall). A lot of different factors can affect the career of a wide receiver, so it is perhaps unfair to say that receiving statistics alone are the measure of a player’s talent, but here are the numbers (not including playoffs) for these wide receivers, Cooper Kupp and the six others drafted ahead of him in 2017:

John Ross: 62 catches, 957 yards, 11 TDs
Zay Jones, 124 catches, 1,338 yards, 10 TDs
Curtis Samuel, 185 catches, 2,087 yards, 14 TDs
Corey Davis, 241 catches, 3,343 yards, 15 TDs
Mike Williams, 218 catches, 3,543 yards, 25 TDs
JuJu Smith-Schuster, 323 catches, 3,855 yards, 26 TDs
Cooper Kupp, 443 catches, 5,517 yards, 40 TDs

Kupp has nearly 1,700 yards more (and 14 more TDs) than his nearest rival among wide receivers in the 2017 NFL draft class, yet he wasn’t picked until the third round. Is it possible that Kupp was underrated because of the stereotype that wide receiver is a position for black players? And if the Rams got a bargain in the NFL draft because of such perceptions, is it possible that other teams could similarly benefit by taking a chance on white players at wide receiver (or running back, or other positions typically dominated by black players)?

It’s usually a mistake to generalize on the basis of a singular exceptional case, but say, did you ever hear of a guy named Julian Edelman? You remember him, the MVP of Super Bowl LIII? Seventh-round draft pick in 2009, 232nd overall, finished his career with 738 catches for 8,264 yards and 41 TDs, and three Super Bowl rings. Not bad for a white guy who’s only 5-foot-10 and didn’t even play wide receiver in college.

Again, this doesn’t prove anything except that the NFL needs to stop focusing on racial “equity” and instead focus on football.

Otherwise, they’re gonna get woke and go broke.



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