“He’ll be a great second-round pickup for somebody, but I guarantee you if he was the exact same guy – but he was black – he’d go in the first round for sure,” the scout said. “You could make a case that he’s a Steven Jackson-type – doesn’t have blazing speed but he’s strong and powerful and versatile.”
-NFL Scout on Toby Gerhart
I was doing a little sports news reading when an article came up about Toby Gerhart, the running back for the Minnesota Vikings. The article was regarding Toby’s evaluation by the NFL scouts and coaches, and how that related to his skin color. Because as NFL fans know, white people dont play running back, they aren’t fast enough and dont have that break away speed. Gerhart was asked by NFL teams what it mean to be a white running back, he was also asked if it made me feel entitled, or like he was sort of a white hope.
Why does that matter? Look at his stats from last season, turn on some tape and watch him carry the ball through the arms of multiple defenders. The tape and stats dont lie, the kid has skill. But he is doubted because of his skin color. Put the stereotypes aside and base your opinion of the player on the unbiased stats. This line of reasoning in professional sports clouds the judgments of front offices and managements every year when it comes to draft day.