Blaming the many for the mistakes of the few is never a good look.
That’s what happened on ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown when Booger McFarland tried to place all of Dwayne Haskins’ issues on every young Black player in the NFL, as if they were the ones partying maskless with strippers on social media.
Making mistakes and blowing opportunities is something many young adults — of all races — do.
“It bothers me because a lot of it is the young African-American player. They come in and they don’t take this as a business. It is still a game to them. This ain’t football. This is a billion-dollar business,” McFarland recklessly explained.
“I saw a quarterback do it. I saw JaMarcus Russell do it. The No. 1 pick in the draft, they gave him $40 million, and he threw it down the damn drain because he didn’t take it seriously.”
By Tuesday morning, McFarland had doubled down on his shallow and lazy take.
If this was a conversation about big, tall, Black quarterbacks that were high draft picks and had blown it, then a comparison would be spot on between Haskins, to date, and Russell.
But this isn’t what this is about.
It’s about McFarland’s inability to properly understand and communicate complex and layered issues like race and generational behavior. When a workforce is as Black as the NFL, then the math already guarantees that the overwhelming majority of the players to do something stupid will be... Black.
That’s not a racial or generational issue that has anything to do with “building a brand.” It’s about ratios and percentages.
Johnny Manziel was a first-round pick and he blew it, and he wasn’t Black. Matt Leinart was treated like White Jesus coming out of USC and he blew it, too. And before this season, it looked like Baker Mayfield was headed down that same path. He’s white, too.
But, yet, McFarland never did two-minute monologues on those guys, and certainly didn’t mention them on Monday night.
“It’s been a long week, and the hardest, worst week of my life,” Haskins told WUSA’s Darren Haynes in an exclusive interview on Monday.
However, the most interesting part of McFarland’s soliloquy was when he described how he feels young Black players of this generation carry themselves in the NFL.
“They come in (to the league) saying ‘how can I build my brand better? How can I build my social media following better? How can I work out on Instagram and show everybody that I’m ready to go, but when I get to the game, I don’t perform?”
McFarland is 43 and Haskins is 23.
What am I getting at?
It’s quite ironic that McFarland is of the generation that’s old enough to be Haskins’ parents’ age, yet he’s taking issue with how Haskins and his contemporaries are being brought up and raised by the same generation that he’s a member of. McFarland’s beef should be with his peers, not the generation that they created.
If you want to be angry at Haskins for his actions and his play on the field, then so be it. It’s not like he didn’t do it to himself. But to blame an entire race and generation for the bad decision-making skills of one person is ridiculous and absurd.
Far too often, Black Americans get lumped together and labeled with derogatory assertions due to the behavior of a few. A 43-year-old Black man from the South named “Booger” should know better than being a part of that.
But, this is the same man that just doubled down on ridiculing young Black NFL players for “not performing,” when ESPN replaced him on Monday Night Football before the season started because of his... performance.