Just before the Redskins home playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, team Dr. James Andrews revealed in an interview with USA today that Redskins coach Mike Shanahan had lied about RG3’s health in a previous season game in Baltimore. Shanahan claimed that Dr. Andrews had cleared the QB to play when in fact, nothing of the kind had happened and Dr. Andrews hadn’t even touched the quarterback’s knee let alone spoke to the head coach. While RG3 did sit out the next game against the Cleveland Browns, is it really hard to imagine that given Shanahan’s tendency to lie about player’s health that he might have placed the quarterback in harm’s way during Sunday’s game? It was apparent from the first quarter that Robert Griffin III was laboring to run, move in the pocket an escape defensive linemen, yet Shanahan kept him in the game, risking the players long term health on a season when the team had already overachieved. The problem with these actions, according to Andrews in USA Today is:
The risky behavior and apparent cover-up regarding Griffin’s knee injury is even more curious when Andrews described the team’s responsibility toward the rookie quarterback — “to make sure he’s OK for the next 15 years,” Andrews said. “That’s what you have to watch out for for players, because they don’t know.”
And therein lies the problem. No one cares about having a slave for 15 years, only what they can get out of them in the short term. African American quarterbacks, (code word – mobile backs) have always received less offensive line help, less cover from referees and less protection from the league than their white counterparts both within teams and in the league in general. Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair, Dante Culpepper and yes Ben Rothlesberger get smashed on the field all the time and no one says anything. However one bad move by Bernard Pollard on Tom Brady’s knee and the League changes tackling rules forever more. It was disgraceful watching RG3 hobble around the field for 3 ½ quarters before he experienced a knee bend so horrendous that the coach had to pull him. And given what the team doctor says you can’t trust the head coach to be honest about whether or not it was safe for the QB to play at all.
I know it is counter-intuitive to think that a money driven business like the NFL would not be more concerned about their stars black or white but that is exactly what we say on the air yesterday. The League (unlike say the NBA) is bigger than any individual stars and sacrificing young black male bodies for entertainment has been working for so long why change it now? When a black superstar quarterback who has resurrected a moribund but loved franchise after decades can still be trotted out to slaughter like a common field negro it makes you wonder if the 40 million dollar slaves realize just how bad things have gotten. Eventually someone has to, because the league and the fans certainly do not.