Vince Young Gets Some Bill Cosby-esque Advice
Jason Whitlock, award-winning FOXSports.com and Kansas City Star columnist, says ” I-told-you-so” regarding Vince Young’s recent difficulties. In the process, he makes some cogent and thought-provoking comments not unlike Bill Cosby’s remarks about black families a few years ago that apply well beyond the insulated universe of the NFL:
I’m not surprised Vince Young tried to quit in the middle of Sunday’s game after throwing a second interception and hearing boos from Titans fans frustrated by his inability to read a defense or throw accurately. I’m not all that shocked that two days later Jeff Fisher called the police and asked them to hunt down his inconsistent quarterback. I’m not surprised the Titans team psychologist is apparently worried that Vince Young is suffering depression.
The question is, when Young rebounds from his emotional abyss and recovers from his knee injury, what kind of love and support are we going to give him? Are the people who already love Young going to replant their heads in Young’s rear end and their hands in his wallet? Or will a few people within Team Vince do the right thing and level with him about what he needs to do to make it in the NFL as a quarterback?
Vince Young, like a lot of young African-American men, desperately needs to hear the truth from the people who love him. Too often we pave the road to failure for black boys by believing the cure for bigotry — and there is still plenty of bigotry in America — is the ability to recognize it in (and blame it for) everything. That cure has more negative side effects than most of the drugs trumpeted by the pharmaceutical companies in television commercials. That cure serves as a convenient crutch, and turns a talent such as Vince Young into a quitter the moment adversity strikes. That cure helped land Michael Vick in jail.
He goes on to discuss the contrary example of Donavan McNabb, who “understands that the best way to combat it isn’t whining. It’s performance. It’s work ethic. It’s professionalism.” Whitlock then expands his critique beyond Young, saying, “As black people, we need to ask ourselves whether we are doing a good job preparing our boys for positions of immense leadership, responsibility and scrutiny.”