PLAY TO WIN?

By Gary Norris Gray, Staff Reporter

 

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OAKLAND — Four years ago a young man from the University of Nevada stood — Oh, excuse me — kneeled for justice, equality, and freedom at the start of each game. He took a knee for those who could not. This created a firestorm throughout the country. The league is still feeling the repercussions of the Colin Kaepernick- Donald J. Trump political feud four years later.

The NFL has chosen to follow the President of the United States and not the ideals of the former 49er quarterback. They (owners) are following the money instead of following justice, equality, and freedom. The owners had no interest in players rights instead they tried to enforce new rules pertaining to our National Anthem and the flag.

“JUST PLAY THE GAME.”

It’s not working and football fans, Black and white, are leaving the National Football League. The 2019 NFL draft just made it clear who is really in charge and that the players on the field are overpaid slaves. Curt Flood may have increased the salaries but did Mr. Flood change how players are traded and sold?

Question?  Has the gentlemen’s agreement between owners been put in force again in the National Football League, an agreement that did not let African Americans play from 1930 to 1940?

This time a secret agreement may have been modified to limit the number of Black starting quarterbacks; this is what Colin Kaepernick discussed, this is what African American football fans are not happy with and what Donald J. Trump and the NFL owners were pushing back on.

What happened to best man plays the position?

Fact: there have not been more than six African American starting quarterbacks on the field at the same time in the past ten years. The only exception was one weekend in 2014 ten Black quarterbacks started with an 8-1-record with one injured, that will never happen again.

BEST MAN PLAYS THE POSITION

Some teams in the National Football League may have some explaining to do. Former head coach Herm Edwards of the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs, now head coach of the Arizona State Sun Devils stated many years ago. “YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME.”

The New York Football Giants and the San Francisco 49ers did not get the message in the 2019 NFL draft. It seems like these two professional football teams are listening to the man who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue instead of their coaches and general managers. Both teams are losing in the process.

Mr. Trump may have won the USFL-NFL lawsuit for $3.65 cents but he wants the NFL owners to pay by disrupting their business with his bombast and right wing rhetoric. It has been working so far, the past three years and is evident in the 2019 NFL draft.

Attendance has dropped, viewership has dipped, and the popularity of the game has suffered. Here are just two examples of this bowing down to the President of the United States and not improving their own teams.

NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS

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Herm Edwards would not be pleased with the New York Football Giants or the San Francisco 49ers. The Giants drafted quarterback Daniel Jones from Duke University in the first round and number six pick overall.

Jones has been questioned repeatedly about his arm strength and his abilities to read zone defenses downfield. Have you heard this before? Does starting quarterback Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts sound familiar?

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If you are a white quarterback you don’t have to be great, you just have to be good, unlike their Black counterparts who have to be Superman, i.e., Cam Newton, and cannot make a mistake, even then your job is not guaranteed, cannot be too short, i.e., Russell Wilson.

The Pittsburgh Steelers proved that point years ago in 1974 with a 4-1-1 record Joe Gilliam was asked to step down to Terry Bradshaw. Gilliam never regained the starting job and eventually was run out of the National Football League. It continues today with Colin Kaepernick. When has a winning white quarterback have to step aside for a Black quarterback? The answer, Never.

This year the New York Football Giants selected Daniel Jones to replace veteran quarterback Eli Manning just as Stanford’s quarterback Andrew Luck was selected to replace Eli’s older brother Peyton Manning in Indianapolis year’s earlier.

This is how the hypocrisies are played out in the NFL. Luck did not play for two-and-a-half years yet he was ranked in the top ten of NFL quarterbacks. How does that happen when this man had not thrown a football in two years?

The New York Football Giants passed on faster, accurate, Black quarterback Dwayne Haskins from Ohio State; the Washington Football Club did not wait and drafted him next. Haskins has better numbers then Jones and can move in the pocket. Don’t tell the New York Football Giants.

The Giants went old school and will have to wait at least three more losing seasons without the offensive line to block for Eli Manning or new draft choice Jones. It will be fun watching the Washington Football Club beat up the New York Football Giants next year because of their vanity. The Giant organization will learn the art of humility in 2019-2020.

It also brings forth the point of why the NFL is losing fans each year. The league and their teams are too busy working at their image instead of winning football games. The Mara-Tisch families which own the Giants do not want to rock the political boat.

These owners are old school and that is one reason why Daniel Jones will be the quarterback for Big Blue, not Dwayne Haskins. Big Blue will have more losing seasons while Washington will be heading to the playoffs.

Remember quarterbacks are the defacto CEO of the team. Owners want their quarterbacks to look like them and Tisch and Mara are just following the script. Jones looks like Manning and themselves.

These owners do this knowing that Haskins could improve the New York Football Giants within six months, not three years. Losing three more years is o.k. with the New York Organization.

This team that plays in northern New Jersey has not had a winning season since the departure of general manager Jerry Reese. That is not an accident either. The league fired four Black General Managers the same year and one believes this is a direct action or reaction to Donald J. Trump tirades the past three years.

The Old Boy Network is in full gear in the NFL with the help of our current president.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

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The San Francisco Niners just went old school politically, picking defensive back Nick Bosa with his off-color tweets. The 49er ownership, The Yorks, John, Jed, and Denise have followed lock-step with the New York Football Giants.

With the Niners first round pick they had a wide range of choices, yet they picked Bosa because it was safe, because it would gain Donald J. Trump’s approval. Niner fans should be asking the question WHY?  Bosa from Ohio State played a half year last year with injuries so the Niners really don’t know how talented this young man really is.

The 49ers also knew about Bosa’s borderline racist remarks on the internet, they knew about Bosa calling Kaepernick a clown, and Beyonce, can’t sing a note and her music is trash. He called “The Black Panther” movie the worst Marvel movie of all times.

Bosa claimed his love for Trump and the new Alt Right movement… He liked homophobic and racist posts on Twitter. San Francisco drafted this man sending a clear message to America that the Niners management agreed with Donald J. Trump.

The President of the United States fuelled the fires of controversy again, responding by congratulating Nick Bosa the second man drafted overall, ignoring the first man drafted, Heisman Trophy winner, Kyler Murray who happens to be Korean and Black.

The Niners have come full circle from supporting freedom fighter Colin Kaepernick with his kneeling human rights protest to drafting a closet racist and alleged bigot Bosa.

This young man now apologizes for these tweets and wants everyone to forget. Bosa does so because he got caught and outed in public. San Francisco fans need to look in the mirror about this draft choice and the direction of their 49er organization.

RACE

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The National Football League is going back to its stodgy, stuffy, snotty past. It has not learned from the 1960 (AFL) American Football League experience. The AFL taught the NFL a lesson in race relations and winning in the 1960s, the older league still has not learned and are STILL listening to a man in Washington who knows nothing about football.

The AFL drafted players from HBCU’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities in record numbers. The Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs lead the way in doing so. These are the early draft picks in the old AFL,  Stan Jones– University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Clem Daniels– Prairie View A&M, John Farrington- Prairie View A&M, Hezekiah Braxton- Virginia Union, Ernie Ladd- Grambling State, George Balthazar– Tennessee State, John Hobbs– Maryland Eastern Shore, Preston Powell– Grambling State, Lorenzo Stanford– North Carolina A&T.

AFL teams changed the face of football with deep long passes and big fast running backs. The AFL made the game fun to watch. The NFL stayed with the pound and ground and a cloud of dust. The AFL won the war but the NFL wants to start the battle all over again. Young football fans gravitated to the AFL in the 1960s because the game was exciting and multi-ethnic.

The failure of the NFL is happening all over again in 2019 with the executive actions of the New York Football Giants and San Francisco 49ers.

The National Football League has lost its integrity.

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian, Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston, Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email glcgray@gmail.com

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

 

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