Speaking on ESPN’s “First Take,” commentator Max Kellerman, referring to the NFL draft this year, insinuated that NFL owners might have a racist perspective on drafting quarterbacks, telling co-host Stephen A. Smith, “My antenna are up when I notice one, two, and three this year, white, guy, white guy, white guy.”
Smith, noting that Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields’s position in the draft has slipped since Ohio State defeated Clemson in the Sugar Bowl earlier this year, stated, “And to go from the number two pick, or the number two quarterback, rather, to number five, where you got literally four quarterbacks ahead of you? I’m just looking at it and saying what the hell is going on here?”
He continued, “So for me, the only reason I say I would have a problem, if you’re telling me he’s not that guy, then I want to know what the hell was everybody saying what they said before, when the college football season ended, because they were the ones telling us, ‘It’s Trevor Lawrence and then it’s Justin Fields.’ And we didn’t hear any of those other names. As a matter of fact, media speculation was that Mac Jones was going to be a middle or late first-round pick. And now we’re talking about he’s going number three overall? I got a problem with the evaluations that were evidently prematurely put out there.”
“Well, a lot of football people really like Mac Jones the more they look at him,” Kellerman opined of the University of Alabama quarterback. “Like you, Stephen A., I will defer to their wisdom. But I will say this: I think what rubbed people the wrong way — maybe like you, Stephen A., I know it’s on my radar, is that sometimes quarterbacks rise, sometimes they fall, but what I’ve noticed, in recent years after decades of artificial barriers being put in place for black quarterbacks, that vis-a-vis white quarterbacks, black quarterbacks in the draft tend to fall pre-draft, their evaluation. And sometimes it’s right; Daniel Jones looks like he’s going to be better than Dwayne Haskins. And sometimes it’s wrong. Mitch Trubisky is not as good as Deshaun Watson or certainly not Patrick Mahomes, right. I say Watson, because he seems to be the guy falling and Trubisky the guy rising and Mahomes maybe didn’t do either.”
“But the point is the correlation that can be made is that your status falls vis-a-vis white quarterbacks,” Kellerman continued. “So that’s why my antenna are up when I notice one, two, and three this year, white, guy, white guy, white guy. But, that may be correct. We need to see, in the end, we need to see, how these guys turn out as pros.”
“The top four average annual salaries in the NFL are owned by black quarterbacks, Mahomes, Dak Prescott, Watson and Russell Wilson,” Mediaite notes.
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