Fear Of A Black Quarterback: The Giants And Dwayne Haskins

If the Giants pass on Dwayne Haskins, the organization has some explaining to do.

Maybe it’s all smoke and mirrors, but the recent reports that the NY Giants will pass on selecting Dwayne Haskins with their first draft pick, and instead take a defensive player or Duke quarterback Daniel Jones, is another one of those head-scratching narratives that wreaks with racial undertones and bigoted stereotypes about the Black quarterback.


Is it possible that the Giants have  created the narrative that Haskins’ stock is dropping faster than the twerkers at Magic City because the organization doesn’t want the cultural attraction that comes with anointing the first Black franchise QB in team history? 

The organization has a reputation for being a class act, but the ownership group consisting of the Mara Family and Steve Tisch is old school and set in certain traditional ways. Since two-time Super Bowl winning GM Jerry Reese got run out of town, the Giants haven’t added any African-American decision makers, despite existing in a league that’s 74.4 percent Black.

The culture of the team definitely takes a hit there.  

I guess GM Dave Gettleman does not see enough Cam Newton in Haskins. Gettleman is no stranger to Black QBs with unique talents. During his run as Panthers GM (January 2013 — July 2017) he helped them to a 15-1 record in 2015 and a trip to Super Bowl 50. Newton became the key to that success. 


Or maybe Big Blue is just out here gaming cats, making everyone think they don’t value Haskins so no one jumps in front of them to snatch him. Or maybe the Giants are hoping Haskins can drop to 17, which allows them to choose a prime defensive player first at No. 6. 

It’s a risky strategy either way, because any hesitance about Haskins’ ability to lead an NFL squad reflects a bad optic. Just a few weeks ago, he was the Giants guy according to reports. Then, the week leading up to the draft, some mock projections have him falling as low as 13 to the Miami Dolphins, which would be a steal for new head coach Brian Flores. It would also baffle some Giants fans.


If it’s not a smoke screen, then the Giants have fear of the Black quarterback syndrome and that could come back to bite them in the future. It happens every season. It happened to Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson . Each player had to endure unwarranted disrespect before becoming an African-American franchise quarterback. 

Laugh if you want, but there’s precedence for the theory.  

With the exception of Geno Smith for one game in 2017, the Giants have never had an African-American quarterback lead the team. The Giants are one of a shrinking list of teams that still believe in the old school, drop-back quarterback. Because of the durability and consistency of aging starter Eli Manning, they haven’t had to succumb to the new age dual purpose quarterback that has infested the NFL.

You see what happened when they put Geno in there. All hell broke loose in the state of New York from the fans, to the sports talk media who were all ready to burn Giants ownership at the stake. The fact that Geno played well and won was irrelevant. He looked nothing like the last three guys who led them to the Super Bowl.

Phil Simms, Kerry Collins and Manning are all similar quarterbacks with limited mobility. 



Haskins should be the guy to lead the transition from Eli Manning. He’s big and tall, has a cannon arm, has some mobility and can make tough throws in the pocket against good defense. There are attributes that the Giants have traditionally valued in a starting quarterback.

Only difference is he’s African-American. Some have suggested that a white QB with his attributes and pedigree would be considered a steal for the Giants at No.6.

Tonight’s NFL Draft will reveal the true tale of the tape between the Giants and Dwayne Haskins.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.