Unintended Insights: Rashard Mendenhall’s Perspective on Race and Football

I don’t agree with Rashard Mendenhall’s assessment that people talk too critically about professional athletes of all races and ethnicities. While no one is above criticism, discussing pro athletes without using venomous language is important, regardless of the speaker’s athletic abilities.

Mendenhall also mentioned that there are many outstanding white athletes in NFL and NBA. He believes that the lack of white NFL players is due to societal expectations and early discouragement of talented white athletes from pursuing football and basketball. There are white players in the league who may have been pigeonholed into certain roles due to preconceived notions.

He points out that there were no white cornerbacks on NFL rosters from 2003-2021, illustrating the lack of representation of white players in certain positions, such as cornerback. He raises questions about talented white safeties who never got the opportunity to showcase their abilities, and whether they could compete against black players if given the chance.

Mendenhall speculates about a hypothetical game between all-white and all-black NFL teams, recognizing that it may never happen due to the sensitivities around race in today’s society. He concludes by suggesting that Madden video game can be used to simulate such matchups, and perhaps, challenge stereotypes about the capabilities of white defensive players.