NFL, Dave, AFL discussed on The Lead

The Lead


See is that race makes a difference. Okay, so you talked about this sort of halo effect for quarterbacks who make the Pro Bowl and how that halo effect plays out differently over time for white QBs versus black QBs. Dave, you've also written about a similar effect when it comes to the NFL Draft. So tell us about that. But it is the case that if you're a number one pick, if you're a top draft pick, that will stay with you as a white quarterback far longer than they'll stay with you as a black quarterback. In terms of pay in terms of pay in terms of the Pro Bowl and in terms of the draft, there's the halo effect for white quarterbacks that persist. So this halo effect just stays with them and with the black quarterback, that vanishes a lot faster. And so with the white quarterback that magic stays with them, you're more likely to make up an excuse for what happened for the white quarterback. With the black quarterback you blamed the black quarterback. You look how long the Giants kept with Jones. I mean, I mean, he's been there how long now is was fourth year, 5th year? And he's never played all that well. And they just kept giving him another chance and another chance and another chance. And history tells us with a black quarterback, they would have given up a lot faster. They would have said, this isn't working. You're not winning. And we need somebody else. And with the white quarterback, they're more likely to be saying something like, hey, if we surround him with better talent, we'll get a different outcome. Well, I got news for you. That's true for all courts. You surround him with better talent. You'll get a different outcome. It seems like part of the problem here isn't just people's biases. It also has to do with the way that quarterbacks in the NFL are rated and evaluated. The quarterback passer rating system, which was developed many decades ago and is still used today. It only considers passing, running by a quarterback is not taken into account. Dave, can you talk about that rating system and how it correlates with race? Well, what we see with quarterbacks is that if they're black, they tend to run. Running does matter, it does make a difference if your quarterback can actually move. And so there is a benefit to running with the football and black quarterbacks do this a lot more than white quarterbacks do. And Peyton Manning basically his whole career took the ball from center, took a few steps and through the ball. And that was it. That's the level of effort he was going to be making here. And if they came running at him, he would either throw the ball away or get stacked. It was like, I'm not going anywhere. I'm just going to do this. And there are quarterbacks that are much more mobile, and they are harder to handle. So when we look at salaries, we would expect, well, if you're doing something that actually helps me win, I should pay you for that. Well, no. Running with the football does not get you more pay as a quarterback. And because it's the black quarterbacks that are predominantly doing that, that means black quarterbacks are doing something. They don't get paid for. There are white quarterbacks who do run, you know, Steve Young ran, and there's other quarterbacks who run. Josh Allen runs. They also don't get paid to do that. But it is the case that if you're looking at who runs more often it is black quarterbacks to run more often. You know, all this makes me wonder, Dave, if there's an opportunity for NFL coaches and GMs here, that if they could learn to recognize their own biases and work against them, that they might end up having an advantage over other teams. Do you think that that's something that could happen or something that has happened in the NFL? It is the case. And football history that that's true. So the NFL was actually a whites only league. It was initially not. It was integrated from 1920 to 1933. But then in 1933, under the leadership of the owner of not surprisingly, the Washington Redskins, they decided to make it a whites only league, that was in 33. And it remained white's only until 1946 and the reason why it integrated is because the Cleveland rams wanted to move Los Angeles. They wanted to move into Los Angeles coliseum and the mayor and the city council in Los Angeles said if you don't integrate your team, you can't use our coliseum. And suddenly the rams integrated their team. And then other teams slowly did this, the Redskins were the last to do this. What the American football league did, and they started in 1961 or so. They were much more inclined to hire African Americans to be their players, which is why when you get to the end of the 60s, in the first two super bowls, the NFL seems to dominate, but after that, they didn't, because the AFL had integrated faster than the NFL. And they ended up winning super bowls. Because people were convinced. I mean, they were pretty sure the NFL in the 1960s had been around for 40 years. The AFL had been around for 5 or 6 years and people were sure the NFL is the better league. Well, the AFL caught up very quickly because they integrated much faster. And the same thing happened in baseball, baseball teams seem to do better in the 1950s that integrated faster. And so it is the case that if you're looking to hire talent, you can take advantage of people's biases. I believe Warren Buffett has said this that he tends to hire women because women are undervalued in the market. And so that's an advantage. All right, well, Dave, let's bring this conversation back to the place that started. This weekend, Patrick Mahomes will take on Jalen hurts and the Super Bowl. This is an historic moment, two black quarterbacks meeting in the Super Bowl for the first time. What do you make of that? What does it say in your mind about the NFL in 2023? Well, we do know that there were two black coaches in the Super Bowl, what was that? 15 years ago, and how much progress we make after that. None. We did not see a change in the evaluation of blackhead coaches for his wife at coaches. So it is an historic moment. It's great. But is it going to change systematic thinking about this? That remains to be seen. The other thing I would add to that is we want to say blacks and whites are treated the same. I want to see a black Peyton Manning. I want to see a black quarterback that just makes decisions and never moves. I'm just going to take the snap. I'm going to make a decision, and that's all I'm giving you. And if somebody's rushing me, I'm either going to fall down or throw the ball away, but I'm not an athlete, I'm a quarterback. Is there a black quarterback that's ever fit that definition? I don't think so. Thanks so much for joining us today and breaking all this down. Sure. It was fun. Okay, coming up. Deshaun Reed of the athletic tells us about his conversations with current and former NFL players and executives about what it means to be black in the NFL today. Eating well is always top of mind this time of year and our sponsor HelloFresh is here to help you eat better by delivering fresh ingredients and easy recipes right to your door. Taking the hassle out of dinnertime. HelloFresh now has 40 weekly recipes to choose from so you can say goodbye to your recipe rut and treat yourself and your family to exciting new flavors every week. My favorite part might be their pre portioned ingredients and easy to follow recipe cards. 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