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Jason Campbell on McNabb's Comments

So McNabb's comments--white quarterbacks "don't get criticized as much as we do, they don't"--have set off the predictable round of blah blah blah.

White columnists no like-y. Gregg Doyel: "I'm calling it stupid. I'm calling it intellectually lazy. And I'm calling it cowardly." Steve Serby: "Rush Limbaugh was wrong when he suggested that fans are rooting for black quarterbacks to succeed, and McNabb is every bit as McWrong now." Mike Celizic: "No one ever got anywhere by playing the victim, not in a meritocracy like professional sports, at least." Jeff Miller: "It's all too convenient, which is true of the best excuses."

Campbell, with friends. (Jonathan Newton - TWP)

Black columnists beg to differ. Mike Freeman: "Well, duh." Jason Whitlock: "He'd simply stated the obvious in the most inoffensive way possible. McNabb's comments were not angry, defiant or whiny. They were matter of fact."

Since, based on the photo above, I appear to be white, I'll go ahead and be contrarian and say yeah, duh, of course McNabb is right, why all the angst? And even if you don't agree with McNabb, White Columnists, stop trotting out Rex Grossman as the unstoppable counterargument. Rex Grossman isn't good. McNabb is good. You need to find a white QB who's good and who still gets dumped on, the way McNabb's been dumped on this week.

But regardless, Jason Campbell was asked about his friend's comments today, and here's what he said:

"As a player and as an African-American quarterback, sometimes you have to support other African-American quarterbacks in the league. At the same time, that is something I can't get caught up in. That's his opinion and some other peoples' opinions, but I look at everybody the same. I respect everybody the same, anybody who plays the quarterback position. It's the hardest position to play in professional sports. I support any guy that's in a starting position or getting playing time in the quarterback position. You get graded, you get rated differently than any other position on the field.

"For 90 percent of the game you have the ball in your hands, and everyone's watching you and all the mistakes that you make. Since you are in the spotlight, everything gets noticed. It's a tough position to play, but at the same time you have to have a short memory. I don't look at it as a color issue; I look at it as all of us in a brotherhood together."

Later, SportsTalk 980's Jerry Coleman ran Campbell down for some further comments about McNabb.

"He's one of the winningest quarterbacks in the NFL, in his era," Campbell said. "He's one of the top five quarterbacks in his era. So I think he deserves more support, and I think right now he just feels like he's not getting that support that he needs, and it kind of carried over to him just coming out with it. I haven't been on that side of it yet. All the Redskins fans have done nothing but support me: they've been behind me, they've given me the opportunity to grow and become the player that I want to be in the NFL, and that's how you've got to be. You know, when Peyton first started out, Peyton wasn't the same thing he is now, but Indianapolis's coaches and their fans gave him the opportunity to grow into the quarterback that he is now."

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 19, 2007; 3:11 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Good job from Jason ducking the issue, which is probably the safe response.

Posted by: Lindemann | September 19, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Although I agree that McNabb gets a lot of unfair critcicism, based on his past success and what he's done for Philly and the NFL, I think he has something to prove in this "what have you done for me lately league."

Unfortunately, he better start playing better, because he just opened the flood gates for potential criticism - regardless of race.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | September 19, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I bet if McNabb was wearing Burgandy and Gold, he'd have a lot more support. Philly is a ruthless town.

Posted by: Nationalcoholic | September 19, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Funny how sportswriters still don't get what Rush was saying about McNabb right. He was saying sportswriters and other media members were the ones desiring a black QB to succeed, not fans.

Posted by: Shawn | September 19, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

It has nothing to do with being black and everything to do with Philly. They booed Santa Claus and Mike Schmidt -- both white guys -- for the most part. Donovan hasn't done much for Philly lately -- mostly injury related -- but hey -- these are Philly fans. So the boos come out. White guy Eli Manning is catching hell in NY. White guy Mark Brunell caught hell in DC and the black QB replacing him is adored -- even when he went 2-5 last year. White guy Drew Bledsoe caught hell in Dallas. Didn't even have to leave the division for examples!! Yup, plenty of white guys getting blame when things aren't going well.

McNabb is a good QB with terrible WRs. But fans are not so forgiving. McNabb didn't drop the punts in week one. And he didn't drop the pass that would have given a first and goal with the clock winding down. He didn't take a time out at the end of the first half which gave the Skins a shot at a TD. but it doesn't matter because the QB is THE GUY.

Bottom line, making racial comments is a fools game. Sorry Donovan.

Posted by: AL | September 19, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"McWrong"? Seriously?

Steinz, can you help me get that guys job?

Posted by: d, dc | September 19, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Great response by Campbell. I believe I'm developing a man crush for the guy, first a silky smooth on the field presence and now undeniable off the field nimbleness! Nothing is more refreshing than an athlete addressing an issue without "addressing" an issue (ehhem Clinton Portis). There are many suits on a hill in DC that would applaud the tact that Campbell demonstrated in his comments.

Note to press, do not ruin this momentous athletic achievement by continuing to ask Jason the same question until he mixes words just enough that you can print a provocative headline.

Posted by: In the A | September 19, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

as a white guy i find it hard to disagree with McNabb. It was only last year that a black head coach won the super bowl for the first time. I think some of the prejudices will linger for a while longer. Sports seems to be a refuge for backward thought at times.

Posted by: grg | September 19, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Maybe McNabb just isn't as good as he used to be and he can't take the heat?

Posted by: McTurtle | September 19, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Peyton Manning - picked on far more than McNabb... before he won the big game. McNabb suffers from two things that exacerbate his situation - working in Philly, where everything is picked apart - and not winning the Superbowl. The whole 'black quarterback' thing is totally played out and a non-issue to avoid the fact that his skills are slipping and that he did have an off week against the skins. He should be more worried about getting some wide receivers that get open.

Posted by: Jon | September 19, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I do not think McNabb has much of an argument these days. 15-20 yrs ago perhaps, but a black QB is no longer a novelty or viewed as being somehow incapable of playing the position thanks to the talents of people like Doug Williams, Warren Moon, etc.... I think that prejudice has disappeared to a large extent. McNabb is just feeling the pressure of playing in Philly and, perhaps, his fading career.

"Sports seems to be a refuge for backward thought at times." - grg

grg, sports is a reflection of society as a whole and not a "refuge" for racism or "backward thought". On the contrary, sports if anything is ahead of the society on such matters - i.e. Jackie Robinson.

Posted by: Rob P | September 19, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone get comments/reactions from Todd Collins or Jeff Brunell? I assume the answer is no, and that's just the point. They're both quarterbacks, doesn't their opinion matter? And that's just the point of McNabb's comments. As much as we try to convince or believe otherwise, we do allow someone's race influence how we view or interact with them. I'm not saying that it's necessarily wrong, but let's at least acknowledge that the condition exists. Then, we can begin to debate the pros/cons, detriment or benefit, etc.

Posted by: letsopenoureyes | September 19, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Who does Jeff Brunell play for?

Posted by: Lindemann | September 19, 2007 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Philly fans probably react to the following. In 2005, the Eagles let go of Terrell Owens for Donovan McNabb. In 2007 they let go of Jeff Garcia. They would be a much better team had they done neither of the two.

Posted by: Hector Calvo | September 20, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Hector: That's ridiculous. You think TO and Garcia would've gotten along great? They tried that, remember, and oh yeah, TO accused Garcia of being gay and talked his way out of town. I know Garcia had success at the end of last year, but Mcnabb is better. I'm a Philly fan and I support Mcnabb. He's played crappy so far this year, we've lost, I'm pissed, but I still support him. All he said was an opinion, one not even very controversial, everyone in the media needs to let it go, and Donovan needs to focus on football this week because we desperately need a win.

Posted by: Jack | September 20, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I agree with all who said it's mostly about the town in which he plays. Racism itself isn't dead yet but Philly fans and media are particularly unforgiving. If McNabb played in D.C. or Dallas I think he'd get more respect and more leeway. Also, had he been the winning QB in the Super Bowl against the Pats, would we even be having this discussion?
Most Philly sports figures get lambasted by Philly's fans and media eventually or to a certain degree.
If Philly wins another major sports championship, will that appease the Philly fans and media to the point that they become more rational? (Okay, SLIGHTLY more rational?)
It's not about skin color; it's about individual behavior. Good luck, Donovan; you deserve better.

Posted by: Naf Sallad | September 20, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

McNabb is full of crap, and his playing the race card is a desperate attempt from a guy who realizes his career is on the downward slope. Since he isn't a white quarterback, he's hardly in a position to know what types of pressure they are under. What a whiner.

Posted by: Joe | September 20, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

McNabb's issues are not his own, it's the Eagles organization. His statement appears to have a lot of truth, but the reality is that the Eagles don't have a big back to exploit the red zone and haven't had one in years and has not made it a proitity. The Eagles have also not done a very good job opening the field with wide receivers and they have done a much poorer job of retaining wide receivers and a worse job of giving McNabb something to work with in this area. The fan's are pretty ignorant at times, but that is no excuce for Andy Reid and his drafting a quarterback in the first round and not a receiver and a big back as priority. The Eagles are where they have been for the past four to five years with exception to an often injured McNabb which has to impact his skill level (he carried the team) limiting his ability to be the play maker. The other great quarterbacks in the league don't have to do what he has had to do. Andy has not given McNabb the help he needs and they won't spend the money to be competitive in the skill positions. McNabb will continue to get sack and probably have a shorten career because of a lack of support. The samething will happen to Kolb, whatever happened to Stalworth the guy that caught a lot of passes form the Jeff guy last year. No seperation from linebackers or defensive back, will result in sacks because he qb is trying to buy time to make something happen. McNabb is trying to carry a team that is getting worse and not better. Andy get some wide outs if you really care about McNabb, qb's can be found all over the draft unless you plan to start one right away and Kolb is no McNabb. McNabb probably wanted to cuss all of the staff out for not getting any help.

Posted by: Wayne | September 21, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

God don't know what most of you people are whining about seems that it boils down to you win you lose its BLACK AND WHITE.........

Posted by: opaof2 | September 22, 2007 8:46 AM | Report abuse

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