The NFL draft starts Thursday night, and ESPN has practically turned the draft order of quarterbacks into a race war. Martenzie Johnson fired the first shot, calling the NFL a “racial institution,” in his ESPN blog post. Max Kellerman predicted an onslaught of white privilege in the draft, on the ESPN First Take TV program.
At the center of ESPN’s race paranoia is Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, an African American. In January, ESPN’s Mel Kiper projected him to go second among quarterbacks in the draft. More recently, some mock media drafts rate Fields fifth among quarterbacks – triggering Johnson and the First Take duo of Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith.
Writing for ESPN’s black-themed blog, The Undefeated, Johnson referred to “the entire football-industrial complex – for the, let’s say, racial institution that it is.”:
“When it comes to black quarterbacks in particular, the NFL has long gone out of its way to keep the position as white as the painted yard lines on the field.”
Johnson mentioned that anonymous evaluators say Fields struggles to “process things,” is selfish and doesn’t have a great work ethic. “The dog whistle is screeching.” In another rant, he says:
“Race has always been a justification for barring black players from playing certain positions, coaching or managing teams, or even playing in the sport altogether.”
Kellerman says his “radar” suggests the drafting of quarterbacks could boil down to white privilege, which may or may not be correct.:
“What I’ve noticed in recent years, after decades of artificial barriers being put in place for black quarterbacks, that vis-à-vis white quarterbacks, black quarterbacks in the draft tend to fall pre-draft. … Sometimes it’s right, and sometimes it’s wrong … So that’s why my antenna are up when I notice 1, 2 and 3 this year, white guy, white guy, white guy. …”
Smith also beefed about Fields sliding down in the draft. “This brother drops to fifth … how the hell does that happen?” he yelled.
When it comes to recent history on black NFL quarterbacks, the ESPN race-baiters displayed remarkable amnesia.
In 2011, Auburn’s black quarterback Cam Newton was the overall No. 1 pick in the draft.
In 2015, Florida State’s black quarterback Jameis Winston went No. 1 overall in the draft. The second player taken was another minority quarterback: Marcus Mariota, of Samoan and German descent.
In week one of the NFL’s 2020 season, 10 starting quarterbacks were black – an all-time record.
The shortsighted ESPN trio also failed to note that three great white quarterbacks – Joe Montana (a third-round pick in 1979), Tom Brady (drafted 199th in 2000) and Aaron Rodgers (24th overall pick in 2005) – all slipped precipitously in their respective drafts. Oh, but this doesn’t fit the Left’s dripping-with-race narrative.