September 21, 2007

Quote of the Day

Michael Wilbon, writing on "his boy," Donovan McNabb:

Anybody who doubts McNabb needs only to walk around one of the upper-concourse areas of Lincoln Financial Field late in a game when, as several white friends have told me, the frequent use of the word "nigger" preceding McNabb's name during a losing performance is so casual it sickens them. Rex Grossman, just to name one white quarterback who has to deal with daily criticism, doesn't have to be on the wrong end of that kind of hateful venom, even though he'll never be half the quarterback McNabb has been... Is this a huge deal? No, probably not. But that doesn't mean it doesn't exist, and McNabb simply stated that. He didn't say it angrily, he didn't say he wanted to take up arms and attack The Man. He just said black quarterbacks are scrutinized and criticized more than their white frat QB brothers -- in other ways, too. As my friend Tony Kornheiser points out, black franchise quarterbacks also have been criticized by black fans and players for not being "black enough" and being too close to white ownership."
And this is why I'm convinced that McNabb is right and the talk radio dumbasses are wrong. Because I live in Philly, I talk sports with people, and hear this stuff all the time.

I'll have more on this in the North Star column next week.

Posted by Stephen Silver at September 21, 2007 03:40 PM

If you leave aside the time component (meaning that McNabb has been in the league for quite a few years, so the absolute quantity of criticism might be significant), has McNabb really been criticized "more" than Rex Grossman? Ryan Leaf? Kyle Boller? Todd Marinovich? Or, to keep things local, Randall Cunningham? I would not dispute that McNabb has been criticized "differently" than some quarterbacks, and that race is a part of that, but if you're going to undertake that kind of analysis, then you'd also have to address whether McNabb unfairly benefited from his race. I'm thinking here of a compare and contrast with someone like Jim Kelly, who was just as statistically proficient as McNabb (if not moreso) and won 4 conference championships to McNabb's 1, but, to my recollection, never had anywhere the endorsement value McNabb had / has, notwithstanding Kelly's whiteness.

And when you do your column, it might also be interesting to cover Steve McNair, whose career arc has been very similar to McNabb's, but has seemed to avoid a lot of the racial stuff. Is that a function of Philadelphia vs. Tennessee, perhaps?

Lots of interesting angles here. Look forward to your column.

Posted by: Benedict at September 21, 2007 05:23 PM

dude, you don't live in philly. you live in the suburbs. you work in philly. if you want to see racism and casual use of the n-word at its worst, come hang out in south philly. not the linc, just pretty much any part of south philly.

Posted by: LilB at September 24, 2007 10:19 AM

Lived in West Philly from 1981 to 1986. Had to register as a Democrat to vote for Frank Rizzo, and sat on a patio on South 39th Street watching the smoke rise over West Philly after Wilson Goode bombed the MOVE complex. That wasn't the suburbs, and those weren't the days of wine and roses when it came to race relations in Philly.

With regard to your racism comment, LilB, was TO a racist when he said that Brett Favre would have taken the Eagles to a Super Bowl? Or just a buffoon? How about the NAACP, and the various black "leaders" in Philly and elsewhere who have criticized McNabb for not playing (or being) black enough? Are they racist? Or just stupid?

Are the corporations for whom McNabb does endorsements racist? Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson and Kurt Warner have all won Super Bowls in the last 7 years, and I don't see them endorsing anything of note.

Was it racist when the Eagles made McNabb the highest paid player in the history of the sport in 2002? If McNabb wants to cry about the goombahs from South Philly calling him names, I guess he can, but I don't find that compelling evidence of racism. If he shuts up and plays like he did on Sunday every week, and maybe even wins a Super Bowl, then the goombahs will forget Rocky and put a statue of McNabb in front of the Linc.

Posted by: Benedict at September 24, 2007 11:43 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?