The hometown Kansas City Chiefs have the first pick in the NFL draft. They are not going to pick Geno Smith. They are not going to pick a quarterback.
Now, I am not going to tell you the Chiefs (who should have changed their name and all the hokey pseudo Indian imagery long ago, but that's another story) aren't picking Smith because he is black, but...
It is amazing how hard it is to knock down the history of white supremacy and racism in sports, even in a sport with a high percentage of African American players like professional football, but there it is. And I mean THERE IT IS.
Don't get me wrong, it could all be a coincidence that every time a black quarterback comes along, we read that there is something wrong with him from an off the field standpoint. He's got a bad attitude. He doesn't have a good work ethic. He takes everything for granted. He can't get along with his team mates. He's got a chip on his shoulder. He can't take instruction. He doesn't understand the playbook. He doesn't have the smarts, blah blah blah and blah blah.
Yeah, it could be a coincidence and I could be the Queen of England.
The stereotyping is absolutely incredible. What century are we in? Where am I?
I can't tell you that Geno Smith is the greatest quarterback ever or even if he will be a good NFL quarterback, but I can tell you there is absolutely no reason to think he is not a good guy who studies hard, works hard, plays to win, and plays for his team who has the talent and ability and brains and guts to lead a god damn football team. I can tell you that.
But, hold on, Geno Smith isn't white, so...even though we have already had a fair sampling of damn good African American NFL quarterbacks, he still has to deal with racial bias in all its ugliness. He still has to overcome the affirmative action for whites known as white skin privilege.
This is what Pro Football Weekly writer Nolan Nawrocki wrote about Geno Smith recently:
Not a student of the game. Nonchalant field presence — does not command respect from teammates and cannot inspire. Mild practice demeanor — no urgency. Not committed or focused — marginal work ethic. Interviewed poorly at the Combine and did not show an understanding of concepts on the white board. Opted not to compete at the Senior Bowl and has approached offseason training as if he has already arrived and it shows in his body with minimal muscle definition or strength. Has small hands and glaring ball security issues (32 career fumbles). Really struggled handling the snow in Pinstripe Bowl (took two safeties) and will be troubled by the elements. Needed to be coddled in college — cannot handle hard coaching.
A cross between Akili Smith and Aaron Brooks, Smith is a gimmick, overhyped product of the system lacking the football savvy, work habits and focus to cement a starting job and could drain energy from a QB room. Will be overdrafted and struggle to produce against NFL defensive complexities.
Are you kidding me?
I've read that Nawrocki just does this stuff to get pubicity. I don't buy it. It's in his history to write this crap. Further, and unfortunately, he is far from the only sportswriter to write like this about Smith, far from the only sports talk radio buffoon to imply such about Smith, and way far from the only talk radio "listener" to agree.
When this white supremacist blather is so obvious that even a commentary in USA Today discusses it, well, its damn obvious.
Here, by the way, just for the heck of it all, are Geno Smith's career stats.
"The hometown Kansas City Chiefs have the first pick in the NFL draft. They are not going to pick Geno Smith. They are not going to pick a quarterback.
Now, I am not going to tell you the Chiefs (who should have changed their name and all the hokey pseudo Indian imagery long ago, but that's another story) aren't picking Smith because he is black, but..."
and again the "but" is the lead in for the rest of the article. The only freakin reason I mentioned the Chiefs is because I am in Kansas City. The Chief's have not drafted a QB with their first round pick since Todd Blackledge in 1983. They haven't developed their own QB...EVER."
What the Chief's are going to do is try and get rid of a left tackle who gave up one sack all of last year so that they feel good about drafting a left tackle to fill the hole...However, Miami and no one else is so stupid as to pay Brandon what he is asking...so they can just move the unhappy Mr. albert to right tackle...or maybe they will surprise me..."
Geno Smith the latest to pay the black tax
Jarrett Bell is a NFL columnist for USA TODAY Sports. He's covered the National Football League since 1981. Previously, Bell covered the San Francisco 49ers for the Marin Independent Journal and the Dallas Cowboys for the Dallas Cowboys Weekly. He has been a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee since 1997 and has participated on an exclusive media panel that has helped select the Super Bowl MVP for the past 15 Super Bowls.