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AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton

Opinion: Stop Saying Lamar Jackson Was Drafted 32nd Overall Because Of Racism

Stop… Just…stop.



Things like this were a regularity leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft.


Like most people that watch college football, I am a Lamar Jackson fan. The 2016 Heisman Trophy winner is a human highlight reel on the field, and he also appears to be a good person that won’t cause any issues off the field or in the locker room. Could he have been a top-five pick in the draft? Absolutely. But to continue this narrative that Jackson was the fifth quarterback drafted because the NFL, its teams, and some analysts are racist is reckless, lazy, and stupid.


This victim mentality needs to stop. As the Bleacher Report writer says in the tweet above, “shame of it is, not enough people will be ashamed.” Why should people be ashamed that a dynamic quarterback was selected in the first-round of the NFL Draft and will now have an opportunity to live out his dreams for one of the league’s better franchises?


How was he treated? Every time I turned on NFL Network I heard Mike Mayock talk about how Lamar Jackson was to most electrifying player in the draft. Mayock said he was “all in” on Jackson as a quarterback, while noting teams might need to tailor their offense to match his skillset and get the most out of his ability.


The only really negative thing about Jackson that I heard in the media was from Bill Polian, who is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Polian has said plenty of questionable things over the last few years, and I don’t think it has anything to do with him being racist.


The person that was treated unfairly throughout this process was Josh Allen. New Bills quarterback was thrown so many insults from supposed experts that you would have thought he is the worst quarterback to ever pick up a football. Some criticisms against Allen were that he couldn’t hit his receiver from ten feet away and that he wasn’t even a draftable quarterback. Jackson did not get close to that type of scrutiny in the pre-draft process.


Jackson was drafted last of the five first-round quarterbacks, and people think he should have been higher. I get that. But it’s laughable to think racism is the reason. It’s disingenuous to assert that opinion, and it distracts from things that actually might be racist.


To claim Jackson wasn’t drafted high because of his skin color ignores the fact that Michael Vick, Cam Newton, and Jameis Winston were all selected first overall in the draft. Maybe the NFL simply doesn’t think of Lamar Jackson as highly as they did those guys. There isn’t anything wrong with that.


Unfortunately, we’re in a time where too many people think you need to agree with everythingthey do, or you can be called any number of things. Just look at what’s going on with Kanye West right now. West is thinking freely and letting his thoughts flow, but he’s getting destroyed for it because some of his opinions vary from the vocal celebrities out there. Similarly, if NFL teams that had a need at quarterback preferred Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, and Josh Rosen to Lamar Jackson, it is OK. Take a deep breathe… It. Is. OK.


I didn’t even note that Aaron Rodgers, Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, Kirk Cousins, and Tom Brady are all among the good-to-legendary quarterbacks that fell in the draft. Rodgers is the only one of those five that was even drafted in the first round like Jackson. Brady fell to the sixth round. It’s just how the draft works out sometimes.


Just please, stop claiming racism because you disagree with where a black quarterback went in the draft. Stop having a victim mentality. And stop acting like everyone needs to think the same way.


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