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The Black Quarterback Is Dead The NFL quarterback position is post-racial.

Last month, Cam Newton was one of two GQ cover boys the other was Tim Tebow. The Tebow piece, like so many written about him, was partly an assessment of Tebows cultural standing. The title referred to him as a "Sunday Savior" and featured pictures, taken during his Florida Gators days, of him in a pose that conjured Jesus Christ on a cross. You get the feeling that, at some point, were going to start referring to the man as a "Christian quarterback." Meanwhile, in Newtons 2,500-word profile, there was no mention of being a "black quarterback" the phrase did not appear. Race didnt come up, at all.Around the same time and about 20 years after shorty Charlie Ward won the Heisman Trophy and then went undrafted in the following NFL Draft rookie Russell Wilson beat out Matt Flynn for the Seattle Seahawks starting quarterback spot. Not only had Seattle invested $20 million in Flynn, but Wilson was aside from being a Miami Vice-era Phillip Michael Thomas lookalike a "barely six-foot," third round draft-pick that spent five years in college. Thats not stud pedigree.Wilsons rise came up as a conversation topic in my Harlem barbershop when his mug popped up on ESPN. Some of the patrons were unaware of the kid. A quick recap of his story elicited this response: "Man, thats some white-boy sh#t."Translation: Some short, moderately-touted rookie that wasnt "Michael Vick" athletic, beating out a more proven quarterback with significantly more millions of guaranteed franchise-money is foreign terrain for black quarterbacks.It was a poignant observation. It was also an indication that we are living in a New Day.The "black-quarterback" no longer exists.Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, Michael Vick theyre all simply quarterbacks. A post-racial America often seems like a sickeningly unattainable dream. Whod have thought the NFL an institution that can sometimes lag behind modernity would be one of its vehicles?For more information, visit www.theshadowleague.com.
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