After leaving SC6 for The Undefeated a little over a month ago, Jemele Hill is back to doing what she does best: Examining the intersection of race and sports.
In her latest column, Hill points to reports that teams have concerns drafting Josh Rosen because the UCLA star quarterback is seen as too opinionated, especially when it comes to politics. Furthermore, teams have questioned Rosen’s dedication to football because he comes from a wealthy family. Hill likens that treatment to what black NFL players experience for being outspoken on social issues.
“Now while the scrutiny and questioning of Rosen hasn’t quite reached Lamar Jackson levels of absurdity, Rosen is unfortunately getting a taste of what outspoken, unapologetic black athletes experience all the time.”
Hill punctuated that sentiment by adding “Just shut up and throw, please” a nod to Laura Ingraham’s infamous request for LeBron James to “shut up and dribble” following his comments about President Donald Trump.
Coincidentally, “Shut up and dribble,” has now become the battle cry for athletes who want to be able to speak their mind on topics other than their respective sport.
This is just as dumb as the “shut up and dribble” comment. Right or wrong, athletes are some of the most recognizable people in this country. That is an extremely powerful platform that so many use to do great things in their community. Who wouldn’t want that? #MoreThanAnAthlete https://t.co/wDKcj341n8
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) March 7, 2018
During a media session at the NFL combine, Rosen addressed the perception that his opinions and approach to football is problematic, saying quote:
“I think that you have to be yourself, you have to be authentic and you have to show that you’ve learned and grown over the years. I’m trying to show who I really am, not who I’m trying to be. I want them to draft me. I don’t want them to draft someone they think they’re getting and then not get that guy. I think that’s also what your teammates want. Your teammates don’t want a fake shell of yourself.”
Last season for the Bruins, Rosen threw for almost 3,800 yards and 26 TDs against 10 picks. He’s considered by many to be one of the top signal callers in the 2018 NFL Draft, with a lot of mock drafts projecting Rosen as a first-round pick.