The outcry came after the Washington Football Team benched quarterback Dwayne Haskins in favor of Kyle Allen and promoted Alex Smith to the number-two position on Sunday, Oct. 4.
Washington had a record of 1-3 before the move by Coach Ron Rivera. Insiders told ESPN Rivera made the decision due to his belief that Allen’s knowledge of offense might give them a chance to win more games.
Black Twitter isn’t buying it. They discounted the explanation, noting that white quarterbacks who are in development are given more room for error and growth.
The refrain of their collective frustration resulted in #BlackQBs trending on Wednesday, Oct. 7. The fact that Washington lost Sunday’s game didn’t help.
“In Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson’s league; this still rings true. Black QBs are ether elite or unemployed. They’re given no middle ground while teams are willing to try and ‘build a foundation’ around their mediocre white counterparts,” wrote user @PricklyPundit.
She retweeted journalist Chuck Modi, who compared Haskins to white quarterbacks Daniel Jones of the New York Giants and Sam Darnold of the New York Jets. In addition to pointing out Haskins had a higher pass rating than both Jones and Darnold, Modi noted they were also not having the best seasons.
“Haskins deserves time to develop just like young white QBs, esp on team w/29th rated offensive line (PFF) & lacks offensive weapons. Black QBs don’t get multiple growth chances like white ones,” Modi tweeted.
Another user tweeted sentiments similar to Modi’s.
“This is a joke! The leash for black QBs in this league is pathetic. Rivera had it out for him from the beginning and Rivera didn’t deserve this job! He has absolutely NO HELP! Runs for his life every down. Daniel Jones numbers are worse and dont (sic) have a win. He’s still starting,” wrote @themasonera.
Another user @brillo_padd tweeted a video showing Haskins sidelined during practice with this commentary: “I’m not saying Haskins is a future HoFer but how’s he’s being handled is completely wrong and why folks still have the issues they do in regards to black QBs.”
Modi also shared an article he wrote for New York Daily News in 2017 about how white privilege works in the NFL.
“While many studies have documented that poor-performing black QBs are at least twice as likely to be benched, this privilege has become so rampant we need to quantify it,” Modi wrote.
There were some users who came to Washington and Rivera’s defense, reminding critics Rivers drafted Cam Newton and coached him to a Super Bowl on North Carolina.
“Anybody making the black QB comparison about Ron Rivera is a dumba–. He drafted a black QB #1 overall, coached him to a MVP, and led him to the Super Bowl. Then he came here. Haskins was playing like some a– tired of seeing this on my TL,” wrote user @WFTeamer.
Almost as an afterthought, however, @WFTeamer later added he knew white privilege was present in the NFL, just not in Haskins’ case. “I’m not saying black QBs don’t get a shorter leash because historically they absolutely do. But not here,” @WFTeamer wrote.
For Black Twitter the consensus was clear.
“I’m not even that big of a Haskins fan. However, I find it frustrating that in 2020 Black QBs are still put on a limited schedule for development and to show progress, but their white counterparts are given years of opportunity and patience to “learn and grow,” tweeted user @TheRonTheGreat.