Enough with the player comparisons via racial stereotyping

I have personally had enough of this. Watching the NFL Combine over the past week, I was privy to watching tremendous athletes workout. As is common nature, today’s sports society loves to compare unknown players to athletes that we currently follow. Let’s be honest, that is be a crapshoot at best, but still can be fun to see if it ever comes to fruition. As the comparisons come, I notice a growing trend among analysts. Bjoern Werner, a 6’3, 266 lb. defense end had average numbers at the combine. Instead of actually breaking down his game, physical attributes and truly seeing what type of player he resembles, Werner got comparisons such as Ryan Kerrigan and J.J. Watt from former Redskins and Texans GM Charlie Casserley. He gets the label as the “work-hard, try-hard” type of guy by NFL on Fox Analyst Charles Davis. Geez, I wonder why. Werner had similar measurables to Watt and Werner at the combine and often times, players like Werner are dubbed as unathletic, but they always have “a high motor”. I have never heard a white defensive end not have a high motor. Matt Roth had a high motor. Jared Allen has a high motor. Paul Kruger has a high motor. Clay Matthews had a high motor (and was compared to white outside linebackers when he was drafted). Chris Long who was taken 2nd overall in the 2008 draft was labeled as a guy with a high-motor and as an unathletic overachiever, despite having very good measurables during his combine workout in 2008 with a vertical jump of 34″ and running a 4.75 as a 280 defensive lineman. There is no doubt, he is a player that plays every down as it is his last, but he is also quite athletic and is one of the best bull-rushers at the defensive end position.

Conversely, I feel bad for any white, 5’10 190 lb. wideout that is who is coming out of the draft because these guys will automatically be pigeon-holed as the next Wes Welker or Danny Amendola. Ryan Swope, who is white and stands about 5’11, 200lbs ran a 4.34 40-yard dash last Saturday. That was second among 40-times for wideouts at the combine. It sparked tweets from people who were downright shocked that a white player could run that well. Yet before that performance, Swope had to endure the dreaded Wes Welker comparison because he is small and white. This blatant laziness by so-called analysts needs to stop. It shows a lack of willingness to actually breakdown a player’s weaknesses and sees what are similarities in his skill and mental makeup that can be linked with current NFL players. Consistently playing the race card for comparisons just shows that the big time networks will always cater to the casual fan. They know that guys want to associate players they have never heard about with players that are known entities. 

It isn’t just a case of the white players being stereotyped either. God forbid Geno Smith gets picked by the Raiders; he will be labeled a bust before he steps onto the field. He will fit the criteria as the next JaMarcus Russell. The media will assume that he is lazy, does not have his head fully into the game and of course, he is black. I watched Geno’s interviews and he is extremely well spoken, humble to a fault and was very critical of his performance at the combine (He fared vary well and was the best QB during workouts according to most scouts). He is not the type that will get big headed nor rest on his laurels like the player he will be compared with. It is just another example of terrible reporting that is unfair to both blacks and whites. These analysts need to be lambasted for their lazy analysis and blatant stereotyping. There are other means of evaluating a player and finding a similar counterpart than the use of skin colour. White or black I am getting sick of this.



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