In many ways, Dwayne Haskins is no different from many young people. Verse of college, where they excelled in classes they had to prepare for their chosen profession, but as soon as they enter a job with a salary and expectations, and co-workers who are just as talented or talented as they are, some have their nose sit down immediately and figure out what it will take to survive and excel, some take a little longer to grasp that notion, and others complain.
That’s life. Maturity is difficult. It’s not just an image for your favorite sweater, it’s hard. For so many of us, we spend our first 18 to 22 years, protected by parents or guardians, and our concern is especially about social acceptance and trying to succeed in chemistry. Then the protective bubble is somewhere along the way, and there are bills to pay and budgets to make and priorities to juggle.
After all, Haskins, who was dismissed by the Washington Football Team on Monday, less than two full seasons after being drafted 15th overall, is not a bad young man. He was inexperienced when he was drafted and his immaturity did not help anything. He did not do the necessary work to play quarterback at NFL level, and was not committed to the first-one-in-last-one-out work ethic required of the job, especially for someone in the early stages of his career.
But let’s be crystal clear: Haskins’ obstacle should not be held against any other player, especially the black backs. His situation is of him and of him alone, and it is utterly unfair to paint it differently.
Unfortunately, ESPN analyst Booger McFarland has already done so, so it’s being written.
Yes, Haskins may be a bust, but he will hopefully land with a team that wants him and gets good coaching and the chance to learn where there is an appetizer. But to put Haskins’ name on JaMarcus Russell – an epic bust set 13 years ago, a lifetime in NFL years – is a stretch.
Any quarter taken in the first round, especially higher in the first round, is considered by media and the fans to be the potential franchise savior; after all, he would not have been a high choice if the team had been a successful season.
You would be hard pressed to find a quarterback who got more pre-draft hype than Johnny Manziel in 2014. Nike even made and sold a capsule collection of tools for Manziel’s Texas A&M pro day, and he was apparently everywhere before he even took an NFL snap.
Eight starts over two seasons and numerous negative headlines later – including allegations of partner violence – and Manziel was out of the league. Haskins’ transgressions are, as far as we know, not nearly as bad (that is, it was not wrong for Washington to have passed from him).
No one said, as McFarland did with Black players on Monday night, that white NFL players entering the league are only interested in just following social media and building their brands, and not becoming better players.
This is not true with the vast majority of white players, nor with the vast majority of black players.
No player from any background likes in this league if he is not doing work and is productive on the field. And so many do so much more than that.
The past two NFL MVPs, quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes, are Black. Twenty-five of the 32 NFL Walter Payton men of the year nominated this year are black. Six of the eight finalists for the league’s Art Rooney Sportsmanship award are black.
But is Dwayne Haskins an attraction for every player of his race?
And as for the idea that players are interested in building their personal brand: good. It should be. The NFL will chew and spit out players, physically broken and without warning. If they do not work on their life after the game while still collecting team paychecks, they enable themselves to fail once their playing days are over.
According to Marshawn Lynch, players need to take care of their bodies, their chicken and their mental health, and when you’m ready to walk away. [from football], you walk away and can do what you want to do. ”
Players spend hours during the season studying film and preparing for games, and in the off-season they work every day to stay in shape. There is also time in the off-season to complete a degree, participate in an internship, invest in a franchise or advertise. If they do it right, they are laying the foundation for a fulfilling life after the NFL. Because so that we, even for the lucky ones, will not forget, the phase will begin when they are only 30 or 32 years old, with decades left.
Haskins’ issues are not unknown, but they are his. They should not be painted differently.
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