Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bad Football and a Quarterback Controversy

EAGLES QUARTERBACK Donovan McNabb says the media treats black quarterbacks more critically than white quarterbacks.

"They don't get criticized as much as we do," he told interviewer James Brown of HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. "They don't."

When hounded by Philly sports media at a press conference yesterday, he said, "It's just reality. It's something that I've been a part of and other quarterbacks before and after me have been a part of. Did I expect any backlash? Yeah. Everything I say, I expect backlash from it."

Is there a bias among reporters or is this a case of a frustrated quarterback on a team (0-2 this year) that can't get over the hump (no championships since 1960)?

Is Philly just a sports crazy town or do the reporters here have a subtle prejudice?

Or is this controversy, as McNabb says, completely blown out of proportion?

UPDATE FROM 9/29: Philadelphia Inquirer columnist offers his perspective; reports that only 5 of the 60 journalists hounding McNabb at the press conference were people of color.


Doanh said...

If you've been to any Philly game, you'd know the Philly fans aren't very loyal at times. They'll cheer the players on, but as soon as they screw something up, they'll badger them and blame them for every lost point. Race has nothing to do with it. Most sports fans (that I know) say that Mcnabb is just being dramatic. Some of the best QBs are black, and if anything, I think the white QBs are pressured to work harder, since blacks stereotypically dominate sports. I remember when I first heard of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees or Tom Brady, I honestly thought that. I think Donovan should shut up and get us some wins. People are criticizing him because the Eagles are sucking right now, not because of his blackness.

Anonymous said...

Todd Miller

As a season ticket holder and a die hard Eagles fan, I must say that I am getting sick of McNabb and his comments. He is a great QB but his mouth keeps getting him into trouble. This comment was not blown out of proportion at all.
When the TO saga was taking place he said it was "black on black crime". I have never heard anything more childish in my life. In a city that averages more than a murder a day he should understand what real crime, black on black or not, is like.

I wish McNabb would just shut up and play a game that he gets paid 115 million dollars over 10 years to do, without saying something stuipd. The media has every right to call him out and make him back up what he saying. And McNabb isn't stupid, he knows exactly what kind of reaction his comments will cause and I personally thinks he enjoys the attention, good or bad.

Regardless of who may be under center for the Eagles this season or next, his time with the Eagles will never be forgotten.


Anonymous said...

I may not know much about sports, but I know what its like to be African American. Although, many strides have been made since the Civil Rights Movement racism still exisits. Its hard for people who are not a racial minority to understand this, they simily see it as another individual complaining about how hard it is to be black in society. There is so much emotional baggage that minorities carry. Many feel like in order to fit in their environment they have to work even harder because they're a rarity. This is basically the point Donovan McNabb was trying to make. It was not meant to upset anyone. He was just telling the harsh truth. (Shari DaCosta)

Anonymous said...

I feel that not only are the Eagles fans frustrated with the slow start, but Mcnabb is frustrated too with Kevin Kolb right behind him and not getting the support he deserves. Philly is a tough town, one big game and the booing and media harrassment will stop. His comments were very suprising especially after what he faught thru a few years ago with Rush Limbaugh on ESPN. but again i think these comments were based on frustration.
-Ryan Parmer

MJ Gentile said...

I agree with Shari. We live in a society that discriminates against people of color. It is telling that in the sea of a few dozen reporters there were only a few Black faces. Journalists frame the story and they have a certain amount of power in how they frame it. We need more people of color in journalism who can bring their insights to their work.

Anonymous said...

If McNabb wants to stop being criticized, he should stop playing football then. Every famous football player is going to get criticized some way or another whether it be from the fans or people who just don't like the player. I don't know the exact amout of money McNabb gets paid, but I do know it is too much for how he plays. And that's just it! He's a football player, so when he sucks (like now) people are going to get pissed at how he plays not because of his color! It is because he is not playing the sport he is getting paid for. Personally, I know he's saying this to get attention. That's what he does if you haven't noticed.
Ashley Huber

dan said...

As a huge philadelphia sports fan, I too think that McNabbs comments were a little out of line. He has the right to express his opinion all he wants, but i believe the criticism he is recieving now has more to do with being a sports figure in the most difficult city to play a professional sport for. Football is a sport dominated by black players, and quarterback is the one position, with perhaps the exception of linemen, that has a white majority playing the position. Perhaps this is part of the basis of his comments, but i have not heard any of the other five starting quarterbacks that are black in the league right now complain about being unfairly criticized due to race. The fact is that McNabb plays for the eagles, and if he were white he would be hearing it from philly just as much. He has been injured for a majority of the past two seasons, and people expect him to get back out on the field and perform. He has not done so to this point, and i also believe his comments were in part driven by frustration. I think it is time he kept quiet for a while until things start to pick up for him on the field.

Anonymous said...

I think this is just a case of a quaterback that cannot fulfill his duties anymore.
I will say, in McNabb's defense, that normally if any team does bad, the first person to blame is the quaterback, regardless of their color. Second, they attack the coach.
But there is a lot of pressure on quaterbacks to perform. But hell, thats what they get paid to do.
So, instead of always making the eagles' losses everyone elses problem, McNabb needs to grow up and realize that he just isn't cutting it anymore.
If he can't handle the game, or the pressure, then he needs to retire.
I don't care if he is white, black, or purple.
He needs to learn to accept the things he does wrong and work on them, instead of coming up with clever reasons why it so hard being him.

abby said...

Even though McNabb did the HBO interview in August before the Eagles were 0-2, I still believe that he needs to cool it and play. His comments now are coming from frustration, I agree. However, every professional athlete is criticized on a day-to-day basis, especially when their team is doing poorly and they are the star player. Do I think black quarterbacks are treated differently? Overall, no I don't. And anyone making millions of dollars a year shouldn't be complaining that much.

Geo said...

Everyone is focusing on Donovan and what he said, but is anyone looking through old stories to see how reporters portrayed him?

Why is every black quarterback considered a "running" quarterback? Isn't that an assumption based on nothing more than racial stereotype?

Like McNabb said in one of the interviews, "Haven't we gotten beyond that?"

Or do those old stereotypes still leak into our culture? Are we not as racially blind as we'd like to believe?

- George (the teacher)

Anonymous said...

Todd Miller

George and rest of class:

As far as all black QBs being "running QBs", that is not true at all. Look at someone like Steve Young. He ran more than most QBs in his day. Or John Elway, and that famous picture of him diving into the endzone to win a Superbowl.

McNabb is only portrayed as he puts himself out. From his Mom and Dad getting involved in all his business to the TO saga, it will never end.

I really think the bottom line is that McNabb has a lot of growing up to do, and fast, or he will be out of here as soon as next year.

Doanh said...

I agree with Todd. In fact, I think he should be cut as soon as possible. He's getting to be too much trouble and not enough footballing. We weren't doing so good before before Donovan was injured, but when Garcia took over, we had about 6 (?) consecutive wins. Even as good as Garcia did, we overlooked that and wouldn't let him start the next season. We insulted him and let a great player go to the Bucs, and he was White. (Some could argue that he is Spanish, but he seems pretty "white" to me) It just seems like Donovan has a history of not doing good at critical times, screwing things up at important points in games, generally just doing and saying dumb things.

Anonymous said...

As a black person who grew up and lived in a rough neighborhood my entire life, what Donovan McNabb is saying makes no sense. First of all, McNabb is an overrated quarterback now. He was decent when he lead his team to four straight NFC Championship games but it was the solid defense that got them there. Now he's just awful and he's comparing himself to great QB's like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Carson Palmer. Stop It. And I'm not saying this because I'm a Giants fan. He is not a good quarterback and he deserves to be criticized.
Andrew Lecointe

james riggio said...

if McNabb knew how to run a rush offense and gave us a better shot at a ring this would be a non issue. he chokes when we need him most. him being black has nothing to do with that. and he was portrayed as a running qb because he ran when he first came into the leauge, its just his massive amount of injuries that stop him from doing it anymore

Benjamin Margolies said...

I don't understand why Mcnabb feels the need to constantly put himself in the middle of this controversy. He should be focused on winning football games and stop crying every time someone criticizes him. When you are a pro athelete you are going to be scrutinized for everything you do. Mcnabb needs to stop taking everything so personally and just play football.

Danny said...

I believe that most of the reason Donovan Mcnabb feels discriminated against, is for simply playing in a sports town like Philly. When other African American NFL players were asked to comment on Mcnabbs remarks, they did not feel it was a race issue but simply a matter of being the quarterback in a sports city like Philadelphia. Jason Campbell of the Redskins commented "Since you are in the spotlight, everything gets noticed. It's a tough position to play, but at the same time you have to have a short memory. I don't look at it as a color issue; I look at it as all of us in a brotherhood together." I'm sure with Mcnabb's performance this week against the Lions, all Eagles fans will be back on the Mcnabb bandwagon.

Brandon said...

You know what, racism is a factor in everything that happens to us. Like it or not thats just the way it is. As far as him being hounded more so for being its a tough call. I think that Philly personally doesn't care if your black or white or purple or green...we just want a win. In a city the lives and breaths sports every star player will be hounded since we have not had a professional sports tittle since '83. We hounded mcnabb because the team is losing , we hounded Allen Iverson because nobody wanted to help him win, we hound Ryan Howard for not hitting a home run everytime he is at bat its just what happens when you are the star player for a philadelphia team. As Charles Barkley, ask Dr. J, ask Scott Rolen, ask Eric Lindross. It just is what it is for Philadelphia sports. You win your the hero. You lose your the scape goat

Anonymous said...

Once again the search for has a serious problem! If people always assume that they are suffering under a prejudice, then the prejudice will always be there... all quaterbacks are treated fairly...i have never seen a white quaterback get praised for playing a bad game, so black quaterbacks shouldn't either! Black people need to stop blaming the color of their skin for their problems... does rasicm still exist...yes... but to many people are starting to use it as a damn excuse...STOP!
-Chelsea Leposa

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... Maybe a certain bias against whining quarterbacks and entertainers that can't help making everything about race?! Instead of the 'victim' mentality it's time for McNabb (and others) to grow up and be a man.

Bill Cosby is right on many levels.