Posted April 24, 2013

Warren Moon: Black quarterbacks still victims of prejudice

NFL
Hall of Famer Warren Moon spent six years in CFL before getting a chance to quarterback in NFL. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Hall of Famer Warren Moon spent six years in CFL before getting a chance to quarterback in NFL. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Warren Moon believes criticism directed at NFL draft prospect Geno Smith is evidence that bias against black quarterbacks remains prevalent.

Moon, who was forced to play six years in the Canadian Football League before proving he could be a record-setting NFL passer and Hall of Famer told Jarrett Bell of USA Today Smith is another example of a black quarterback being victimized by his race.

“It sounds the same as two years ago,” Moon told USA Today. “It just shows that there are a lot of people in society who have the biases and stereotypes. And most of it is about your integrity or leadership or work ethic — all of these intangible things.”

A recent Pro Football Weekly scouting report on the draft’s top quarterback prospects downgraded Smith — widely predicted to be the first quarterback selected in Thursday’s first round — was critical in many areas, describing him as ”a cross between Akili Smith and Aaron Brooks.”

“Not a student of the game.  Nonchalant field presence — does not command respect from teammates and cannot inspire.  Mild practice demeanor — no urgency.  Not committed or focused — marginal work ethic.”

Smith, who passed for more than 8,500 yards and 73 touchdowns with just 13 interceptions in his last two seasons at West Virginia, defended himself against the report by saying the evaluation was “untrue in all things.”

Many NFL draft analysts came out to defend Smith’s talents and potential.

“The Pro Football Weekly report should be discarded,” Trent Dilfer told USA Today. “It’s almost laughable, the stuff he put in there.”


9 comments
BillBranch
BillBranch

Wah! Wah! Wah! When is the crying going to stop? When is the blaming Whitey going to stop?

The so-called hero of blacks, M.L. King, said he was waiting for the day when men would be judged by the content of their character; this works both ways. You know what, there are a lot of white people accused of racism for criticizing Barry Soetoro. We say nothing of the color of his skin. I know of no white people who have owned black slaves. That was years ago. Stop criticizing us, stop listening to Sharpton, the "Reverend" Jackson, Louis Farrakhan (he's too insignificant to worry about the spelling of his name). Listen to Bill Cosby. 

This transcends sports. Until black Americans start considering themselves just plain "Americans," they will have a problem. Blacks comprise a large proportion of the prison population. Is this because of racial profiling? Is this because of prejudice? No! It is because blacks now as a whole in this country do not have families, do not have father figures, do not have strong values instilled in the young to succeed. They consider themselves "victims." Warren Moon, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Floyd
Floyd

Moon will not be happy until EVERY quarterback in the NFL is black...Quit your  whinning Warren.

HallieRanta
HallieRanta

I care what a Hall of Fame QB thinks.  And while all young QBs are subject to criticism, the report that's in this article is indeed ridiculous, and you can't blame Moon for his feelings based on his past.  While most of the reports are not going to be racially biased, you can't tell me there aren't still people out there who view black and white QBs differently.

rukiddingme
rukiddingme

Apparently, Mr. Moon can't accept the fact that his playing days are over and that no one really cares what he thinks about anything any more.  And his attempt to play the race card in this situation is as idiotic as it is pathetic.  Every QB in this draft in particular and every draft in general has been criticized in one way or another.  Why should Geno Smith be any different?  Common sense says that some of these commentators will be right and some will be wrong but however it all turns out, RACE will have nothing to do with it.  As always, it will be about how they PERFORM.  As a result, Mr. Moon is doing Mr. Smith and minorities everywhere a disservice.  By playing the race card in yet another situation in which it does not apply, he is helping to make that argument totally irrelevant.  In this day and age, people that play the race card usually have no other card to play.  And that is certainly not the case with Mr. Smith.  He has his talent to rely on and only time will tell how well he will (or won't) do.  Judging by his comments, Mr. Smith seems to understand his situation perfectly.  In the meantime, Mr. Moon just needs to take the advice of @thorn5150 and shut the hell up.

thorn5150
thorn5150

Shut the hell up warren, EVERY QB was criticized, that's what critics do.

kwamezulushabaz
kwamezulushabaz

@BillBranch That is precisely the problem. Dr. King never advocated color-blind remedies. You have a distorted understanding of history which leads you to faulty conclusions. Dr. King stated that to get to content of character you first have to deal decisively with anti-black racism. Quote: 

//That is precisely the problem. Dr. King never advocated color-blind remedies. You have a distorted understanding of history which leads you to faulty conclusions. Dr. King stated that to get to content of character you first have to deal decisively with anti-black racism //

Black people have never been treated as "just plain American." In fact from the 1650s-1960s we were by decree of law either slaves or second class citizens. The ugly history can't be addressed with color blindness. kzs

rukiddingme
rukiddingme

 @HallieRanta 

 

Sorry, not buying it.  If what Moon was saying were true, there would be no black QB's in the league at all, ever.  As I said, it's based on performance. From Doug Williams, Donovan McNabb, Cam Newton, RG III, Russell Wilson and Moon himself.  I didn't include Michael Vick on this list because I don't like him.  But the reason I don't like him is because of what happened at Bad Newz Kennels, not because he's black.  And the fact that I didn't include him on my list obviously doesn't mean that he doesn't qualify as a successful black QB.   Sorry, but Moon's argument doesn't hold water.  If Geno Smith performs well in the combines (and maybe even if he doesn't), some team will still draft him based on his potential.  And then, just like every other QB in history, it will depend on whether or not he can perform.

BillBranch
BillBranch

@kwamezulushabaz @BillBranch I can tell from your affected pose that you voted for Soetoro simply because his skin is dark. He is actually a half black, half white Muslim. Well, maybe I am wrong; maybe I haven't dealt with anti-black racism. But, you know what, stop making racism an issue. Just because I am white doesn't make getting and holding down a job any easier. And blacks have created stereotypes of white Americans, too. So, as I said, stop making racism an issue.

Remember, if you do not like the United States of America, you are always free to emigrate to the country of your origin. You should be grateful for the slave traders, yes, your color folk and  mine, because, if not for them, you'd be back in Africa with no camera to take such a ridiculous picture.

HallieRanta
HallieRanta

 @rukiddingme  @HallieRanta

 I was referring more to the scouts, reporters and fans rather than the coaches and owners.  The coaches and owners will take the best QB that fits their system, regardless of color. 

 

Critics will question just about everything with top prospects, but when so many of the things they say are flat out wrong or bogus, some people question the reason.  I'm sure in this case it's only because he's the top QB prospect, but like I said with Moon's past (he wasn't given a chance despite his college performance), such criticism is going to rub him the wrong way.  He probably is too quick to react and should just let Smith do the talking and playing, I was just saying I understood where he was coming from.