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    Ray Richardson

    Tim Turner’s column on Lamar Jackson was right on point! With glaring question marks about the other potential first-round quarterbacks, why is Jackson being asked to consider playing another position? Totally unfair and disrespectful for a young man with his skills to have to deal with a situation like this.

    Jackson’s fight for equality in 2018 turns the clock back to a time in the 70s and 80s, the 60s as well, when black quarterbacks in college were routinely asked to switch positions if they wanted to play in the NFL. In those days, NFL coaches and execs didn’t believe black quarterbacks had the “necessities” to make the transition to the NFL. Jackson’s situation leading up to the 2018 draft is a painful reminder that some attitudes in the NFL about black quarterbacks have not changed. It’s sad to think that we’re not past this issue.

    This is why Doug Williams’ legacy is so valuable. In 1988, Williams was the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl when he led Washington to a convincing win over Denver in Super Bowl XX. Not only was Williams named Super Bowl MVP, he let the NFL know that black quarterbacks can really play in their league, and play well. So many quality black quarterbacks have come behind Williams — Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Randall Cunningham, Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb, Warren Moon, the first black quarterback to enter the Hall of Fame.

    What made the NFL revert to a disheartening era while evaluating Jackson? Those days should be a faded memory. Because of Jackson’s strong mentality, I have no doubt he will one day prove the non-believers wrong. Just like Williams, all Jackson needs is a fair opportunity. How fitting would it be if Jackson follows Williams’ footsteps in more ways than one?

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      Rickey L. Hampton Sr.

      Ray, I will pass this on to Tim. Would love to have you do some stuff for us. Any subject, anytime. Music, sports, race, society. Rickey


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