“The black is a better athlete to begin with because he’s been bred to be that way, because of his high thighs and big thighs that goes up into his back, and they can jump higher and run faster because of their bigger thighs and he’s bred to be the better athlete because this goes back all the way to the Civil War when during the slave trade,” Snyder claimed. “[T]he slave owner would breed his big black to his big woman so that he could have a big black kid,” he added.
Moreover, in 2003 Rush Limbaugh resigned after a brief stint as a football commentator on ESPN after making controversial remarks about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. Specifically, Limbaugh believed McNabb was not as good as the media thought he was.
“I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well,” Limbaugh said. “There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve. The defense carried this team.”
Limbaugh also once remarked that “the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.”
And when Joel Ward of the Washington Capitals became the first black hockey player to score a winning goal in a Game 7, racist sports fans called him the N-word and called hockey a white man’s sport.
Looking back to 1988, and Doug Williams was asked many questions regarding his historical significance as he prepared to become the first black quarterback to start in a Super Bowl. Some of these questions were nonsensical. For example, “Doug, do you feel like Jackie Robinson?”
But one journalist asked Williams a profound question: “Doug, it’s obvious you’ve been a black quarterback all your life. When did it start to matter?”
As for Kaepernick, the focus appears to be on his rare arm strength and mental toughness, his counterculture persona and tattoos. He has become a household name, and has even applied for patents for six terms, including “Kaepernicking.”
When it no longer matters that a quarterback is black, or at least no one questions his intelligence or leadership abilities, then history truly is made.
Follow David A. Love on Twitter at @davidalove