Clay Travis: “It’s not even a disagreement anymore with Lamar Jackson; anything considered criticism towards Lamar Jackson is immediately branded ‘racist’… I don’t think I’ve ever seen a quarterback who cannot be criticized, more than Jackson right now. If you don’t think Lamar Jackson is going to be good forever you’re just considered a racist. Why are people so invested on a racial level with Jackson that they aren’t with Patrick Mahomes or Russell Wilson? You can criticize Mahomes and Wilson, but if you criticize Lamar Jackson it’s like you are totally unacceptable. The quarterback position is one where you get ripped to shreds every week no matter what your background is.” (Full Audio at Bottom of Page)
Listen to Clay Travis discuss the polarizing career of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, as the second year player rising to the top of MVP ballots has become the NFL’s most contentious talking point.
A lot of the buzz around Jackson began with the headlines around Draft time in 2018 that included former NFL GM Bill Polian, one of the most respected executives in league history, questioning if Jackson should consider moving to wide receiver in the pros, as the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback from Louisville was one of the most electric athletes in college football history, and was coming off a junior season in which he RAN for 1,601 yards and 18 touchdowns.
It instantly ignited a racially charged debate concerning the idea of pigeonholing black quarterbacks more as athletes than pocket passers, especially since Jackson came into the league among a deep group of first round quarterbacks that included Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, and Josh Rosen. Jackson's loudest defenders questioned why these players, all white, weren't asked to try out for other positions, although the idea of asking college quarterbacks to try out at other positions wasn't anything new.
Jackson was selected 32nd in the first round to the Baltimore Ravens and was drafted behind all four of his NFL Draft counterparts... All four who would later struggle and take a backseat to Jackson as the crown jewel of that draft.
Most of the debate around Jackson now is simply questioning the longevity of a running quarterback like Jackson, who is on pace to rush for more yards than any quarterback in history. Despite Jackson reiterating that he’s NOT a running quarterback and he would rather look to pass, he’s only had one 300-yard game for his career and has never completed more than 24 passes in a single game either.
Jackson went 6-1 as a rookie and led a Joe Flacco-whitewashed Ravens team to the playoffs, but had his worst game of his career in the AFC Wild Card round when Jackson posted a 9.5 QBR game in a home loss to the Chargers.
Clay wonders why questioning the future success of Jackson is such a taboo topic, as media members having doubts about Jackson have not only been trolled on Twitter all year about their opinion being invalid, but have also been outright called racist for ever being outspoken against Jackson at all.
Check out the audio below as Clay details why there has been this incredibly unprecedented and often uncomfortable phenomenon that has sprung up on social media, where Twitter mobs brand anyone as a racist if they dare even question the quarterbacking abilities of Lamar Jackson.