Sometimes you come across a column that’s so good it feels wrong to excerpt it. But we have to, so here’s a quote from Jason Whitlock’s latest for Outkick the Coverage.
Social media wants you to believe America and all of its institutions are irrevocably ruled by systemic racism. It’s not true.
The NFL, the most powerful force in American popular culture, the top TV show on five different networks, is proof of America’s bend toward equality and proof of the level of willful ignorance and intentional deceit used to smear America.
[Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick] Mahomes, like [Colin] Kaepernick, is mixed race. He’s now the richest player in NFL history. He surpassed Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, who is black. The next quarterbacks most likely to benefit from the contract Mahomes just signed are Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson and Dak Prescott. They’re all black.
They’re also some of the league’s most exciting players. Prescott is the face of one of the league’s marquee franchises, the Dallas Cowboys, which, if you weren’t aware, is in the south. And you know what? No one anywhere has any problem with it. Every Cowboys fan just wants him to win.
Lamar Jackson has redefined the QB position and electrified the league last season. And you know what? Other than the defensive coordinators he keeps awake at night figuring out how to stop him, no one anywhere has any problem with it. The NFL is, or is supposed to be, a meritocracy. And it’s supposed to be fun. Right now, Pat Mahomes is on top of the NFL world and he deserves to be there.
Colin Kaepernick was benched for Blaine Gabbert. Not because of race, but because Kaepernick was no longer getting the job done. He won the job because he could get the job done and for a while he did. That job was leading the team to win games. In 2013, he led the despised 49ers to 12-4 and a loss in the Super Bowl to the superior Baltimore Ravens. That was a successful season by just about any measure for a QB.
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But that was Kaepernick’s peak. In his final year in the league, 2016, he racked up 1 win and 10 losses. That’s how you get benched for Blaine Gabbert.
A losing record is almost never solely the quarterback’s fault, just as it’s seldom ever solely the coach’s fault. But teams needing change usually change either the coach or the QB, or both. Kaepernick turned to tearing the nation and the NFL down to make his living, which is a very nice living thanks to Nike and the sweatshops it uses to make its products. Hopefully, Pat Mahomes can add another ring or two to the one he already has.
Whitlock’s column is replete with something we have rarely seen in the past few months: Honesty. Please go read the whole thing.
His column is far from a one-off. Whitlock appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show earlier this week and outkicked every coverage thrown at him. Carlson asked Whitlock about the NFL’s decision to play “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” considered the “black national anthem” by some, before the national anthem before every football game. Whitlock likened the decision to an infamous moment on the old Happy Days TV show.
If the NFL starts out its season with everyone standing for “Lift Every Voice” and sing the black national anthem, and then virtually everyone on the field taking a knee when the Star Spangled Banner plays, I think it’s going to be — if you remember the show “Happy Days,” the jump the shark moment when it’s like, okay, Happy Days is over. The NFL will run off a nice fat chunk of its audience, and will never be seen the same again, because of the failure of leadership throughout the NFL.
There’s no way you can do any homework on Black Lives Matters, and not see that it’s a Marxist political organization. It’s not about Black Death. It’s not about black men. It is a political move. It’s a communist political move.
People have gotten canceled for saying less. Bonus: If you watch the video, you’ll see NFL great Marcellus Wiley also question the Black Lives Matter mission statement — and reject it — on the air at ESPN.
I don’t know where we go from here. We’re dealing with a perfect storm of hysterias and multiple failures of leadership among academia, elected officials, media, corporate America, and the sports world. Academia is actively engaged in destroying its own and everyone else’s free speech with a wildly misguided assist from media.
Hardly anyone has the stones to tell the fringe “No” to any of its demands, no matter how destructive they are. Hardly anyone has the spine to stand up for our values or our country and way of life. “Defund the police” is literally getting people killed, and far and away most of those victims are black. Yet the demands continue and cities continue acquiescing to them.
It’s doubtful we will even see a full NFL season thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s almost certain that sports will continue to drift out of its lane and into more divisive social messaging that most fans watch sports to escape. Whatever we do see, I’m happy to see Jason Whitlock keep writing about it. I’m sure I won’t agree with everything he says, but he’s honest and fearless. Those are rare qualities now.