One of the best quarterbacks in the NFL said a racial bias against black QBs still exists.
Lamar Jackson, who starred at Louisville as the signal-caller and then was asked to run receiver drills at the combine in 2018, suggested he still has to prove himself partly because of his skin color.
During an appearance on LeBron James’ “The Shop,” the conversation turned to times in which the NBA star feels disrespected, and James brought the topic to Jackson.
“It’s dying off, but it’s still there,” James said about a bias against black quarterbacks.
“It’s still there,” Jackson agreed. “That’s why I need that championship.”
Jackson was the 32nd-overall pick after much debate concerning his true position. Historically, white quarterbacks have been favored in a position that requires endless study, smart defensive reads and quick decisions.
A lifetime QB, Jackson did not want to switch positions, and said he had “no idea” why he was asked. He refused to participate in receiver drills. The loudest critic became former exec and then ESPN analyst Bill Polian
“Short and a little bit slight,” Polian said of Jackson in the lead up to to the draft, adding teams should view him as a receiver. “Clearly, clearly not the thrower that the other guys are. The accuracy isn’t there.”
Polian has since admitted he was wrong, saying he used “the old, traditional quarterback standard.”
Jackson has made the Pro Bowl in two of his four seasons while completing 64.1 percent of his passes.
The YouTube conversation began with James saying he feels slighted by never being included in discussions concerning the best scorers in NBA history.
“When they talk about the best scorers of all time, they don’t ever mention my name,” James said. “Yeah, it pisses me off.”