03 Oct 2005 Ak’bar Shabazz: “I Like to See Black Quarterbacks Succeed”
Project 21 member Ak’bar Shabazz didn’t see any sinister racist agenda in Rush Limbaugh’s ESPN comments about Eagles quarterback Donavan McNabb. He doesn’t agree with Rush’s opinion on McNabb, but isn’t provoking discussion what a commentator is supposed to do? Shabazz figures that Rush’s politics are more the reason for what happened that his thoughts about McNabb:
I disagree with Rush on one point and agree with him on another.I don’t believe that Donavan McNabb is overrated. I believe McNabb is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. As a Chicago Bears fan, I understand the importance and rarity of having a quarterback with as many skills and talents as McNabb. But it has nothing to do with his race. This guy has won a lot of football games and has been to the NFC Championship twice without ever having a quality receiving corp. There aren’t many quarterbacks who can say that.
Present day sports is one of the true bastions of equality in our society. Management and coaches have short shelf lives and don’t have time to consider race. Productivity rules. Either you produce or the next guy behind you will play. Race isn’t a factor. I dream of the day that we could do that in other parts of our society.
I do agree with the social concern angle. After being institutionally denied from playing the position in the past, I like to see black quarterbacks succeed. In the past, people have insinuated that blacks didn’t have the mental capacity to handle the complex nature of the quarterback position. Obviously, they were wrong. I enjoy watching quality black quarterbacks continue to prove them wrong every week in the NFL.
But this isn’t the case with all black players, some quarterbacks included. Rush may have a legitimate point in some cases.
To say that Rush is racist because of the opinion he expressed last Sunday is unreasonable. What he said is hardly Jimmy the Greek or Senator Robert Byrd. The man was talking football, on a football show and expressing his opinion, as he was hired to do. The main problem is that he is a guy that likes tax cuts, a strong defense and doesn’t really care for big government. He happens to be a conservative. As a conservative, you are either portrayed as a racist or an Uncle Tom.
Liberals don’t give conservatives benefit of the doubt on any issues concerning race. Rush said something that made himself a target and, all the sudden, a crisis breaks out.
Rush should be allowed to speak his mind without fear of being labeled a racist, but he has Donavan McNabb wrong. McNabb will be running that Philly offense effectively again very soon. And I’ll be cheering for him. Unless, of course, he plays the Bears.