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Lamar Jackson’s Draft Night Exposes The Character Flaws Of The NFL

In the past year, Baker Mayfield’s been arrested for running from the police. 

Video of Baker Mayfield’s arrest released

Police in Fayetteville, Arkansas released the dash cam video from the night Baker Mayfield was arrested.

Hes also grabbed his crotch on the field on national television and he lacks prototypical No. 1 QB height as he’s not even 6-foot-1, but the controversial Mayfield got the white privilege pass on Thursday night and after all of the mock drafts and predictions, the Cleveland Browns felt confident enough about the former Oklahoma quarterback to choose him No. 1 overall and give him the reigns of the franchise after going 1-31 th last two seasons with Hue Jackson at the helm.  

on Twitter

Baker Mayfield at the #NFLDraft when his agent told him that he got drafted by the Browns https://t.co/vzb8cC6wHd

Josh Allen was a projected No. 1 overall pick before all hell broke loose and he was exposed for bigoted tweets this week that resurfaced from his past. Using racial slurs of the worst kind directed at people of color did nothing to stop him from going in the Top 10 as Buffalo made sure Allen didn’t slide too far, trading up to select him with the seventh pick. 

Said Allen: “I’m gonna make them look like they are the smartest people out there. I’m happy to be a part of Bills Mafia. I’m ready to come win and go to work. I want to come win football games in the great city of Buffalo, they deserve it.” 

When asked if he would address the recent racist tweets that were recovered from his high school days, Allen replied, I don’t have to, but I probably will. I want them to know that I’m gonna work on being the best teammate possible. I never had a problem in the past with any teammates. I love all my guys.

So two out of the first three quarterbacks picked in the NFL Draft come with baggage and less-than-stellar character issues, but it didnt affect their draft status. Its funny that with all of the criticisms of Lamar Jackson — who had to wait and sweat it out with his mom until the Baltimore Ravens chose him with the last pick of the first-round — hes two inches taller than Mayfield, never had any problems with the law, never made lewd gestures on TV and never demeaned another race of people on Twitter. Hes shown nothing but leadership and quality character on and off the field. It just didn’t matter on Thursday night. No excuses were made for Jackson’s perceived weaknesses. 

NFL on Twitter

Welcome to the Baltimore @Ravens, Lamar Jackson! @Lj_era8 #NFLDraft

But so many excuses were made for Allen, even by African-American stars around the league.

Josina Anderson on Twitter

I asked new 49ers CB Richard Sherman what he thinks about old tweets from Wyoming QB Josh Allen that were unearthed: “He was a kid. If you gave most of us a platform early in high school, I’m sure our immaturity would have shown as his did.

I guess character issues only apply to African-American players because I can’t help but think that if it was Lamar Jackson running from the police and getting arrested or Tweeting racially disparaging remarks at Jews or Asians,  then his stock would drop even lower than it already has and NFL executives would almost definitely hold these things against him on draft night. 

With Allen, they just sweep it under the rug and chalked it up to him being young and dumb. It’s not even like any of these two guys are slam dunk prospects. It’d be different if Peyton Manning or Troy Aikman was coming out with these stains on their reputations, but not hardly. 

Speaking of Aikman, he doesn’t believe Allen is the real deal. 

Bruce Feldman on Twitter

The great Troy Aikman on Josh Allen: “I think as a quarterback when you’re inaccurate, from my experience as a player in studying these guys for the last 17 years, you usually do not overcome that.

If Mayfield was Black and exhibited the same erratic behavior, most General Managers would be wondering if they could trust their NFL franchise with a loose cannon that’s been known to make questionable decisions. Ezekiel Elliott never got convicted of a thing and the NFL felt that his erratic behavior patterns reflected negatively on the league so they suspended him. Mayfield’s transgressions, his ability to lead and overcome his past mistakes was never an issue and his stock actually rose during the past few weeks. The bad boy of the draft elevated to the No. 1 pick and let everybody know what the NFL is really about.  

The Shadow League on Twitter

Baker Mayfield after getting picked 1st overall #NFLDraft https://t.co/cAZFbZLWfq

You rarely hear words such as leadership and character when Black quarterbacks are evaluated. Instead, you hear the stereotypical knock about them being too athletic for the position or lacking the passing skills. The endless questions about their ability to read defenses and make intelligent decisions are par for the course.  

Its odd because making good decisions in life usually reflects the kind of decisions you’ll make under pressure on the field, but not when the quarterbacks have the complexion for the protection. All of Mayfield and Allen’s character flaws were deemed irrelevant by the thirsty NFL scouts seeking a franchise quarterback. A white face for their predominantly black team. 

Lamar Jackson by all accounts has been a flawless teammate and true professional, but being a leader with impeccable character doesn’t do anything for the stock of a black quarterback. Those are words used to embellish the description of white quarterbacks over the years. 

When Cam Newton dabs, hes being disrespectful. When Baker Mayfield gets lit, he has swag. 

Jemele Hill on Twitter

Y’all are late. This is the exact moment I knew Baker Mayfield would be the no 1 pick https://t.co/udY96zuZKh

Despite Mayfield’s history of messing up, hes described as spunky, a gritty competitor, instead of the knucklehead we could call him. Allen got a pass for being young and bigoted and the millions of dollars these guys will earn will make them forget about the past pretty quickly.  If they perform fans will be willing to forget the past altogether. 

Lamar Jackson however, stayed on the board because in evaluating him, character means nothing. His talent means nothing, but his skin color makes him subject to criticism and thats unfortunate, but not surprising coming from todays NFL and the owners who have made it very clear that their players of color are second class citizens.

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