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Whitlock: The ‘bread’ showered on Kyler Murray and Deshaun Watson fuels NFL ‘circus’

Op-ed
Spencer Platt / Staff, Diamond Images / Contributor, Cooper Neill / Contributor | Getty Images

The same billionaires willing to pay Kyler Murray and Deshaun Watson $46 million a year in salary are too racist to pay black men $5 million to coach Murray and Watson.

The argument that the NFL is a bastion of white supremacy hasn’t made much sense for nearly 50 years. You’d think this past off-season would be the final nail in the outdated narrative. But it’s unlikely to die. It will be kept alive by a constant retelling of the league’s flawed history and a simple-minded explanation of the league’s hiring practices related to head coaches.

Welcome to NFL season 2022. Pardon me for my lack of enthusiasm.

Training camps have opened. We’re XX days from the start of the regular season. I’ve never been less excited for the start of professional football. The game feels disconnected from reality. It’s used as a prop to make specious arguments denigrating the league and America as systemically racist. I don’t have the stomach for it.

The American economy is in free fall. Inflation has shrunk the middle class. Times are hard for most Americans. Except for those with some rare athletic skill and/or a willingness to ignore the absurdity of elite influencers getting rich for promoting games and narratives intended to distract from our descent into Babylon.

Murray and Watson have rare athletic skills and little else. This off-season, the Arizona Cardinals and the Cleveland Browns rained record contracts on the pair of quarterbacks.

Despite two dozen sexual assault allegations and a likely suspension hovering, the Browns traded for Watson and gave him a guaranteed contract worth $230 million. It’s the most guaranteed money in NFL history. Imagine that. The man with a league-shattering number of sexual assault allegations received the most guaranteed money in NFL history. That’s quite the combination. And it’s rather surprising, given the fact that the NFL allegedly suffers from systemic racism. Watson is black.

So is Kyler Murray. Murray has no off-field issues. His issues are on the field. He’s now the second-highest-paid player in the league, trailing only Aaron Rodgers, but he’s not one of the NFL’s 10 best quarterbacks or 50 best players.

The wear and tear of the regular season causes the pint-sized QB to melt in December. In three seasons and 13 games in the month of December, the 5-foot-9, 190-pound passer has thrown 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. The Cardinals are 5-8 in those games.

In 46 NFL starts, Murray is 22-23-1. He’s never thrown for more than 26 TDs in a season. In this era, elite QBs routinely toss 35+ TDs. In his first three years, Murray has thrown 70 touchdowns and 34 interceptions. In comparison, in his first 46 starts, Patrick Mahomes tossed 114 TDs and 24 INTs. In 49 starts, Lamar Jackson has thrown 84 TDs and 31 INTs.

Let’s don’t even compare win-loss records. Mahomes and Jackson led winning teams. Kyler Murray makes more money than Mahomes and Jackson.

That’s likely going to change as it relates to Jackson. The Ravens and Jackson have spent much of the off-season trying to work out a deal. The contracts awarded to Watson and Murray have complicated those negotiations.

Given Murray’s deal, what do you pay Jackson? Jackson won the league’s MVP award in 2019.

But I digress. The point of this missive is to call out America’s absurd culture, priorities, and debates. The NFL, America’s national pastime, is America’s primary supplier of bread and circuses. It’s entertainment designed to keep the masses happy while the masses are robbed of God-given rights and freedoms.

That’s why the NFL refuses to defend itself from allegations of racism. That’s why Colin Kaepernick remains in the league’s conversation. The Raiders granted him a tryout this off-season. It’s why the Pittsburgh Steelers hired Brian Flores, the former Dolphins coach who is suing the NFL for racial discrimination. The Dolphins fired Flores. He claims he was fired because he’s black.

The NFL is a willing participant in the overthrow of American values.

For years, I wondered why a league and industry that produces more black male millionaires than any other industry is so reluctant to defend itself from allegations of systemic racism. Commissioner Roger Goodell and and the league’s top black executive, Troy Vincent, know the league’s positive impact on black boys and men.

Why won’t they tell it? Why do they constantly bend to the woke mob?

They know racial bias and animus do not explain the racial disparity between black and white head coaches. The owners don’t care who they pay to lead their teams. The Browns just gave an alleged black serial predator $230 million to play quarterback.

The truth is the tattered and shredded black family structure has undermined American black people’s ability to produce male leaders. We’re a matriarchal culture. Because of the psychological damage caused by having no father in the home, black athletes do not respond well to black male authority figures, especially in a sport with a leadership model similar to the military.

Here’s another inconvenient and uncomfortable truth: The rise of the black quarterback is directly tied to technological advances that allow coaches to puppet-master QBs from the sidelines.

In the 1950s, '60s, and '70s, quarterbacks used to routinely call their own plays. That’s no longer the case. Football games, now more than ever, are orchestrated from the sideline and the press box. The players are less valuable as leaders. They’re paid for their raw talent. That’s why the Browns do not care about Watson’s character flaws. He’s not being paid to lead. He’s being paid to follow the instructions communicated in his helmet.

He’d rather those instructions be delivered by a white man. That’s part of the reason he was so comfortable last season skipping the opportunity to play for David Culley in Houston.

Black players don’t care about black coaches. The whole simple-minded conversation about black NFL coaches is manufactured bread and circuses for talk show hosts and lazy journalists.

Are you not entertained?

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