Tuesday, February 23, 2010

To Be Young, Gifted and Black is STILL Disrespected

Myron Rolle's piece on ESPN:

saw this over at W.E.E. See You

From Myron Rolle's off-field success could hurt in the draft
The whole segment is worth watching, and the companion piece by Wright Thompson at ESPN.com is worth reading, but the Outside the Lines segment ended on an odd note, citing ESPN's draft experts as saying Rolle's off-field pursuits would actually hurt his stock among NFL teams.

The thinking, according to ESPN, is that NFL teams want to draft guys who need to play football and want to study nothing more than a playbook -- not guys like Rolle, who wants to become a doctor and enjoys studying the latest developments in stem cell research. The report said Rolle has dealt with this mentality before when his defensive coordinator at Florida State, Mickey Andrews, told Rolle that he was spending too much time on school and not enough time on football.

It's kind of a sad commentary: After a great piece about what a fine young man Rolle is, ESPN felt the need to point out that being a fine young man could, in Rolle's case, actually count against him on NFL teams' draft boards.

But it's surely true that Rolle could decide at any time to walk away from football and find greater success in another field. As far as NFL teams are concerned, that's not a good quality in a draft prospect.

When I first saw this over at W.E.E. See You, I wanted it to be one of those pieces from The Onion. After all, who in their right mind, would be offended by a promising athlete taking time out of his career to go study at one of the finest institutions in the WORLD? I mean, this studying didn't include him playing dangerous sports that would damage his body, thus making him unable to play in the NFL. He hasn't been partaking in dangerous after hours activities, like riding motorcyles, cigarette speedboating, extreme sports, etc. or anything like that.

No, this article actually says that his prospects are being dimmed because he WENT TO STUDY AT OXFORD.

Wrap your mind around that.

What an insult.

A complete insult.

You wouldn't want a player who has their act together, ALL TOGETHER?

I guess not. I guess they want players that they can use, abuse, then throw away like Dexter Manley.

Dexter Manley is the anti-Myron Rolle.

No Rhodes Scholar was Manley.

In fact, Manley went through an entire professional career as an ILLITERATE.


Signing contracts that he couldn't even READ.
Dexter Keith Manley, nicknamed the "Secretary of Defense" (born February 2, 1959 in Houston, Texas) is a former American football defensive end in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins, Phoenix Cardinals, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an eleven-year career from 1981 to 1991. He also played in the Canadian Football League for the Ottawa Rough Riders. Manley played college football at Oklahoma State University.

Professional career

Manley was drafted in the fifth round (119th overall) of the 1981 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, where he would play for nine seasons. During his career with the Redskins, Manley won two Super Bowl titles and was a Pro Bowler in 1986 when he recorded 18.5 sacks. He then played for the Phoenix Cardinals and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 1989, Manley failed his third drug test and was banned from the NFL for life, with an opportunity to apply for reinstatement after one year. However, after he failed his fourth drug test, he was permanently banned from the National Football League for life on December 12, 1991.

Officially, Manley had 97.5 quarterback sacks in his career. His total rises to 103.5 when the six sacks he had his rookie year of 1981, when sacks were not yet an official statistic, are included. After his career in the United States ended, he revealed that he was functionally illiterate, despite having studied at Oklahoma State University for four years.

ELEVEN YEAR CAREER....and illiterate.

But, THAT is the kind of athlete that the NFL seems to want.

Barely scribbling his name to the contracts he can't read; happy for anything the NFL threw at him.


As Town wrote:
If this were some white football player taking a year off to go to Oxford he'd be the toast of the town, but a black guy? Forget about it.

Hell no do I believe if this were a White player he wouldn't be lauded up and down ESPN as the EPITOME of what an athlete should be. A White player would be lavished with numerous endorsement deals before he even played his first down in the NFL.

NOT ' his off-field pursuits would actually hurt his stock among NFL teams.'

Mr. Rolle, I believe you have your head on straight and can see the forest for the trees. So, for those who would be insulted by your intelligence...


For those who would be threatened by your intelligence...


For those who would want you to lapse into some Black Male Athlete Stereotype of the ' YOUNG BLACK BUCK'...


Continue to shine and excel.

I honestly believe that when it's all said and done, when your obituary is written, your NFL career will be almost a footnote in what you will accomplish.

1 comment:

The Angry Independent said...

Thanks for this video and commentary.

Your points highlight what College football and the NFL (and NBA) are really all about. It's what they have been doing for years. They chew minority athletes up and spit them out...using them by benefiting from their athletic abilities, while not being concerned with their well being or best interests as individuals & students. They have “turned it into an industry all its own... where scouts specifically look for minorities. They walk them through the college process, cutting corners along the way in some cases, in order to get kids who will make their sports programs look good. This is really all these sports programs care about, esp. the NCAA Division I schools.

Many of these athletes end up not graduating and no one really tracks what happens to them afterwards. About 1/3 of Black college athletes (Football and Basketball), particularly those who were heavily recruited on sports scholarships, end up not graduating...and for many schools, the number is somewhere closer to 50% or more. The more heavily recruited they are for their athletic ability by the bigger schools...the more difficulty they seem to have in terms of graduation.

So these schools are so used to having this narrow view of the Black athlete. It would take 10,000 Myron Rolle's to begin to change the culture. The NFL is really part of this whole mess too. I have read of quite a few cases where students entire college careers were basically make believe....because someone was cooking the books. Some schools are so desperate to have the best athletes, that they are willing to do just about anything. It has turned into a big business. The NFL could fix it with the stroke of a pen (by setting certain standards) but it won't do it - not as long as it is benefiting from the situation.
So now we have this monstrosity of a system, where education and intelligence are discouraged.

It's no wonder there are so many Black pro-athletes who have either gone broke or who run into financial trouble, despite having tons of money.