In 2017, the Chicago Bears made a clear mistake. Recent reactions and a responce from Deshaun Watson touches on the struggle the black quarterback faces.
With the recent news of the Chicago Bears declining Mitchell Trubisky‘s fifth-year option, the debate of how the team missed on both Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson reignites. It exploded on Twitter for the world to see Friday night, focusing on the “black quarterback” being a common afterthought for the NFL.
On Friday night, the debate raged again, sparked by writer John Feinstein commenting on the Bears’ decision to decline the option. The move suggests that Chicago is seemingly ready to move on from Mitchell Trubisky, the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. But Feinstein questioned if the decision, from the beginning, had anything to do with talent.
It is a fair question to ask, considering the black quarterback, even in 2020, remains a rarity at the pro level.
There’s Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Kyler Murray, Dak Prescott, Lamar Jackson, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Jameis Winston, and Dwayne Haskins. But 9 out of 32 teams with starting-caliber black quarterbacks, which is possibly the most in one season for the NFL, isn’t exactly proof that race isn’t a factor. Add in the frequent talk of black quarterbacks being asked to change positions, like Jackson most recently, and it’s obvious that race is a factor in the evaluation of the position.
Of course, a seemingly controversial opinion like this received an outcry from media types that do not recognize the issue of race in the United States of America. The loudest voice was Fox Sports blowhard Doug Gottlieb.
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Essentially, Gottlieb is citing that historical and systemic racism in the country has suddenly disappeared from the game of football simply because of “dumb, disconnected and bitterness from 40-year-old transgressions” (not that his tweet was grammatically correct) explains the response to the accusation of the Bears’ bias against black quarterbacks.
It’s a curious and funny point to make, considering the lack of black quarterbacks historically, including those drafted highly, or in the first-round entirely. Note, just because there are names to cite doesn’t deny the fact that it’s a wildly low number of players that have been drafted and have started for franchises, in comparison to white quarterbacks, overall, in history.
But Deshaun Watson set the record straight for anyone that wanted to remotely believe Gottlieb.
Watson shares his point of view about the Bears:
Watson proves with his tweet that there is SOME merit to the suggestion that the Chicago Bears factored in his race when looking at quarterbacks. They not only selected Mitchell Trubisky over the clearly more talented Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes, but they traded up for that second overall selection. It’s a double-whammy of a mistake by the franchise that is fumbling with that decision now, trading a shocking fourth-pick to get Nick Foles as a hope that he serves as a bridge quarterback. And yes, Cam Newton is STILL available even when that transaction went down.
The question remains now, can the Bears ever shed that remorse of not selecting Watson or Mahomes for that matter? It remains to be seen. But what’s for certain is that race is a factor in the position from a historical and present context, despite what people like Gottlieb said.