Black Quarterbacks

Back in my high school and early college days (we're talking the 1960s), there was an open discussion in the American media and among members of my parents' generation whether black football players were capable of being effective quarterbacks.  After all, professional quarterbacks prior to that time had all been white and many pundits expressed the opinion that, while blacks are excellent running backs and receivers, they lack the skills to perform well as quarterbacks.  Of course, the not-so-subtle implication of their argument was that black athletes were not smart enough to run an offense.

History has clearly debunked those overtly racist opinions and, looking back on that era, most of us are offended and embarrassed by the widespread ignorance that pervaded our country.  Indeed, over the past fifty years, many of the most successful quarterbacks in professional and college football have been African Americans.

Unfortunately, such simple-minded beliefs, often ingrained in childhood and fostered by like-minded friends and family, persist in human society, surfacing as racism, religious zealotry, anti-science rhetoric and political extremism.  Worse than those who buy into such ignorance are educated persons who condone or passively sanction their misguided views.