Play stupid games. Win stupid prizes.
That’s exactly what happened last night when Booger McFarland plopped his massive frame on his high horse during Monday Night Football and played the game of respectability politics as he bashed, solded and tried to blame every young black NFL player for former Washington QB Dwayne Haskins’ off field transgressions and immaturity.
“It bothers me because a lot of it is the young African-American player. They come in and don’t take this as a business. It is still a game to them. This aint football. It’s a billion dollar business. I saw a quarterback do it. I saw JaMarcus Russell do it. The No.1 pick in the draft, they gave him $40 million and he threw it down the damn drain because he didn’t take it seriously.“
Wait, there’s more. McFarland Doubles down on twitter:
Even if McFarland was talking about black quarterbacks only, his comments were still reckless, short sighted and tone deaf. Regardless of their performances on the field this season, Russell Wilson, DeShaun Watson, Teddy Bridgewater, Cam Newton, and Patrick Mahomes have not let what they do off the field clash with the business on the field. Speaking of business, it is also asinine for McFarland to assume that these young black players don’t know that the NFL is a business. They know! So knowing that the NFL is a business, why wouldn’t these young men build a brand that would put them in a position to maximize opportunities off the field? Especially when:
- The average NFL career last anywhere between four to six years.
- Contracts are often performance-based, which doesn’t bode well if they are injured.
More often than not, these athletes are keeping the main thing THE main thing. They strap up, go out there, compete and work on their brands. And if McFarland wanted to harp on wasted talent, where was this energy for Johnny Manzel? What about an early career Ben Roethlisberger who he was wilding, and not to mention his countless accusations of sexual assault? How about a recent example in Baker Mayfield, before he started to play well in the second half of this season?
The bottom line here is, there are no virgins in a brothel. Players from past generations did their share of dirt, but the difference between now and back then is that social media didn’t exist and it wasn’t really documented unless “sources” dimed out players to the press.
The more I think about McFarland’s rant, the more it makes me think he’s auditioning for more conservative sports outlets. To that I say, if you are in fact auditioning to be Jason Whitlock’s heir apparent, just say that and leave these young men alone. Let them make mistakes, and learn from them.