Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Is Barry Switzer Racist? Or is He Just Stupid?

Discussing the upcoming NFL draft in general and specifically Johnny Manziel, Barry Switzer was quoted saying:
I love his ability; Johnny can play," Switzer said. "I've always said I'd never recruit a white quarterback. The only way I'd ever recruit a white quarterback to play for me was if his mom and daddy would have to both be black, and that's the only way I would do it."
In his defense, he went on to explain that it is because of the style of offense he plays. However, I think his explanation merely added fuel to the fire.
"My offense is a quarterback-fullback offense," Switzer continued. "I'd have to have a Jamelle Holieway, J.C. Watts [or] Thomas Lott. Those guys are gonna be my quarterbacks, they're great runners, they're great ball carriers and ... able to pass, complete some, and those guys could. Those guys could throw and run."
My rule of thumb on determining if something is racist is to turn the races around and ask how the statement would then be viewed. His qualifying statement about wanting running quarterbacks does not rehabilitate the comments. Years ago when there was uproar about lack of black quarterbacks in the NFL, coaches often explained it away by saying that black QB's coming out of colleges were not pocket passers, etc. Here is an idea. Ignore everyone's race and hire them or select them in the draft based on their talents and whether they can help your organization achieve its goals. Pretty simple huh? Want to end racism? Stop talking about race as if it is germane to every conversation. People are people. I'll end with this youtube clip of Morgan Freeman on 60 Minutes from a few years back.


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