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Colin Kaepernick and Patrick Mahomes are two of the most talented men ever to play quarterback in the NFL. However, they have something else in common that begs the question, are their white coaches afraid of their abilities on the field?
Kaepernick led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl, losing his second season on one of the most controversial “non-calls” of all time in 2012. By 2016, Kaepernick was out of professional football and had been blackballed based on his defense of the rights of Black men and women in America.
Mahomes, his second entire season with the Kansas City Chiefs, led his team to a Super Bowl win in 2019. The Chiefs returned to the Super Bowl in 2020, losing in a controversial game where they were penalized 9-1 by the referees. And if the coaches continue to restrict Mahomes, he will be nothing but a memory in a few years.
These two men share the fact that they are unconventional. Their athletic abilities far surpass all other quarterbacks in the NFL, but that was altered by their coaches, who believed in making them more “conventional.”
There is an old and accurate saying: “If it aint broke, don’t fix it.” Sadly, the egos of NFL coaches force them to justify their existence.
For Kaepernick, the firing of Jim Harbaugh, who rejoined the college ranks, coaching at Michigan, was the beginning of the end. Harbaugh respected Kaepernick’s extraordinary talent and built his team around it.
Andy Reid was aware that he had the most talented quarterback in history until this year. Now, he is forcing Mahomes to be more conservative, and the Chiefs are playing losing football.
My question is simple and based on what I have witnessed as an NFL fan for about 65 years. Both of these men are of African American descent. Is restricting the way these two men play based on racism? Are the old, white men who control the NFL afraid of the dominance of Black quarterbacks, which is fairly apparent in 2021?
In 2020, nearly 58 percent of all NFL players were classified as “Black.” However, only 25 percent of quarterbacks were Black. This position has been “mostly white” since the inception of the league. I will not repeat the many degrading remarks made about the baseless justification to prevent Black men from playing this one position, but there were many in my lifetime.
The truth is that this is racist, but it is also based on a reluctance by management and coaches to change the standard for quarterbacks in the NFL. If there were more Black coaches, this might be different, but the truth is that racism exists in every area of our nation and continues to be our country’s most serious problem.
Remember, I am a 75-year-old white man. I am honest and aware of what needs to be done to save the future of our nation. We need “Equality, and until every American is treated the same under all conditions, our nation remains in decline.
I have to admit that Patrick Mahomes is my favorite player in the NFL, although I have been a Pittsburgh Steelers fan since the early 1970s. I hope someone in power within the Kansas City organization recognizes what is happening to the most talented offense in all of football. If Mahomes is allowed to play in a manner that will enable him to use his natural talents, he will break every record in football before he retires.
Opinions from James Turnage
Featured and Top Image by Jeffrey Beall Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Adam Fagen’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License