Never thought I’d be writing this blog. This topic. As if all the racial issues we have in society aren’t bad enough (Thank you, Donald Trump), now it has arisen again in the NFL.
I don’t know about you, but when I see Zach Zenner, I don’t see a white running back. I don’t see a black running back, I don’t see an Hispanic running back—I see a running back. (Thank you, Barack Obama, 2004 Democratic National Convention Keynote Speech.)
Michael Bennett’s comments, albeit made in the context of a reporter’s inquiry (how do these guys keep their jobs?), still linked Zenner to being white. Or being talented despite being white. Or being surprisingly fast and talented despite being white. Well, or, just being white.
Gets me to wondering… Why do we still have black quarterbacks? No, we have quarterbacks. Warren Moon, off-field issues aside, and the late Steve McNair, were as good as any quarterback. Moon, in fact, maybe threw the best pure ball of anyone. But he had to go to Canada for several seasons to work his way into the NFL. Still, there are those who refer to them as black quarterbacks, not just quarterbacks.
Gets me to thinking, so, who’s the best black placekicker off all time? Black punter? Who’s the best white wide receiver of all time (Crazylegs Hirsch, Lance Alworth)? Defensive back, especially corner (Jason Sehorn, Roger Wehrli)?
Or, are white guys only good enough and just fast enough to play safety? Yet, still get in the Hall of Fame! Stop referring to players by their race and color as linked to the positions they play. Do we need a Rooney Rule for quarterbacks, running backs, wideouts and defensive backs?
Whatever happened to the Rooney Rule as applied to coaches and GMs? Look at the job Reggie McKenzie is doing in Oakland. Or Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh. Ozzie Newsome has sparkled in Baltimore for years.
I am sick of references to “white” running backs, “black” quarterbacks and “black” coaches.
With Donald Trump in the White House, it’s only going to get worse. But even as The Donald would say, “What have you got to lose?”
ELI’S COMING: The Giants and Packers, 10 years later, play another playoff game in frozen conditions at Lambeau. Eli is the man. The Giants are the team.