Recently, Robert Griffin III met Cam Newton— though some critics would have one believe the two of you are already one in the same.
Quick now, when as the last time back-to-back Heisman Trophy winners of Griffin and Newton’s historically dominant ilk have been so harpooned and lambasted in attacks that have absolutely nothing at all to do with touchdowns and completions? Now, on the reverse, ask yourself when is the last time a pair of Black quarterbacks so fit the aforementioned profile.
Sense the correlation here? Do you really think it’s mere coincidence that RG3 and Cam, two clearly free and distinct spirits, are now being described in the same stereotypically unflattering terms by the same handful of sports writers and critics?
You think it’s just happenstance that the same take-charge and somewhat cocky traits revered in the likes of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and now even Andrew Luck as game-changing qualities are derisively looked upon and attacked as glaring examples of a “selfish streak” and “disingenuous” behavior in Griffin and Newton?”
At a time when Black quarterbacks are growing in dominance and stature like never before, too many of the so-called ‘experts’ are stuck in a time machine where they are compelled to find every reason to vilify the Black quarterback as someone less than a leader, thereby preserving the purity of the myth that only Whites are quick-minded and shrewd enough to master or even excel at the position.
Truth be told, the idea that the NFL quarterback position and who rightfully gets to call all the shots has evolved to the point of being a colorblind decision is as off-point and misguided as the notion Barack Obama’s ascension to the White House has truly signaled a post-racial world.
Beneath all that rigid unevenness remains the assembly of NFL management teams that could benefit from a jolt of diversity that might raise the game as much as… well, the free-wheeling emergence of the Black QB has.
Gentleman that he is, Robert Griffin 111 has chosen to take the high road, turning the other check, so to speak, in the face of all his secret society detractors.
“You could say [I’m] surprised, but you never know,” Griffin told CBSSports.com on Friday. “It’s just when the draft gets closer, everybody’s going to try and find something wrong with you to try and pull you down, so I’m not going to sit here and argue that.”
Translation? RG3 rightfully feels it’s time to stick a sock in the mouth of all the madness— though it’s probably safe to assume we’re not talking about his favorite Superman pair donned and made famous on Heisman night. “You know you don’t have to fight your own battles — let other people fight them for you,” he likewise told CBS. “That’s about all I can say about that. I heard it, but it’s not something I’m going to address.”
Now, if that isn’t smart, savvy even, tell me what is?
Glenn Minnis is a veteran sports/culture writer and regular contributor to the NFL and Hoop and Vibe magazines. He also writes extensively for blackamericaweb.com and has been a staffer with AOL Sports and CBSNEWS.com and the Chicago Tribune newspaper. He was also the founding sports editor for 360hiphop.com.Follow him on Twitter at @glennnyc.