November 10, 2015

Racism Between the Goal Posts: New research finds black quarterbacks are benched far more often than their white counterparts. "Volz found that, once all the variables were factored in, "black starting quarterbacks are 1.98 to 2.46 times more likely to be benched the next week [after a poor performance]" than white quarterbacks with approximately equivalent skills."

posted by rumple to football at 10:17 PM - 5 comments

Really, I guess if you look hard enough and want it bad enough you can conjure up racism in everything.

posted by ic23b at 12:22 AM on November 11, 2015

Something I've been thinking about since the Kapernick benching: we haven't really gotten that far from the days when Doug Williams was blazing a trail for black quarterbacks. Wilson, Kapernick and RGIII came into the league and brought the Pistol offense to the NFL. Like with other innovations (the Wildcat) NFL defenses took a year to adjust and things fell back into balance, but the narrative is different here. When it was running backs taking direct snaps that failed to turn the game upside-down, the Wildcat was just dismissed as a gimmick. But there's a narrative around the failures of Kapernick and RGIII (who didn't do himself any favors but also had his knee destroyed) and may begin to drag on Wilson if the Seahawks don't get better. Their failures aren't down to the system, gimmicks or injuries (or the fact the Niners imploded in the offseason), it's something in their personalities.

posted by yerfatma at 09:22 AM on November 11, 2015

It doesn't help that Gabbert is the Stormfront vision of what a QB should look like.

posted by beaverboard at 11:00 AM on November 11, 2015

Really, I guess if you look hard enough and want it bad enough you can conjure up racism in everything.

Especially if you do a statistical analysis that shows actual effects of racism.

posted by Etrigan at 12:28 PM on November 11, 2015

Interesting findings, although seems like a potentially small sample size - can't see the full academic journal article, but assume there's enough there to get something statistically significant or it wouldn't have been published (unless this is some sort of vanity/pay-to-publish journal with low publication and/or peer review standards).

I do wonder about one thing with respect to the percentage of black NFL quarterbacks (16-28%) compared to black NFL players generally (~66%). Assuming (and I have no factual basis for this other than an assumption based on observation and perception, which - not to get too meta here - might reflect implicit bias) black quarterbacks in college are less likely to play a "pro-style" system, then perhaps they are less likely to be drafted/started due to reasons of scheme "fit," experience, or skill set, rather than for race-based reasons. Of course, this is maybe just abstracting up a level, as there may be a race-based bias/"push" to put black quarterbacks in high school or college offenses that are more gimmicky or that otherwise do not translate to the pros -- due to perceptions of the players' relative athleticism, ability or inability to make reads, etc.

posted by holden at 12:29 PM on November 11, 2015

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