Every year when quarterbacks go through the pre-draft process, quarterbacks get compared to other quarterbacks — usually ones they share an obvious physical trait with.
But according to Hall of Fame cornerback and NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has an quality that crosses such pre-conceived barriers.
During an interview with Roland Martin on the Tom Joyner Morning Show (full transcript here), Sanders said he was a fan of Manziel, but said the negative attention he received is based on personality and perhaps something else.
“I love Johnny Football,” Sanders said. “See, the reason people won’t accept Johnny Football is because Johnny Football has ghetto tendencies. I love Johnny Football.”
Asked to clarify what “ghetto tendencies” were, Sanders continued: “Because he was successful, he made it, and he let you all know he made it, and he was cocky, he was flamboyant, and he let you know.”
Martin then made a reference to Manziel being “a white Prime Time,” and Sanders laughed.
“Thank you. And I love him. I love him,” Sanders said.
There are many troubling elements to the discussion of the racial realities of quarterback profiling. But Sanders’ apparent equation of “ghetto” with “black,” is frankly insulting.
It was a clumsy attempt by Sanders, who could have chosen a better way to say he admired Manziel’s confidence, without bringing a racial element into the conversation.