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McNabb's play is the real issue

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Memo to Donovan McNabb: Quit whining, play better football, get your team in the end zone once in a while and you won't hear quite so much criticism!

McNabb, as you most likely know by now, played the race card Tuesday on HBO's 'Real Sports' with Bryant Gumbel.

"There's not that many African-American quarterbacks, so we have to do a little bit extra," McNabb tells HBO. "Because the percentage of us playing this position, which people didn't want us to play ... is low, so we do a little extra."

McNabb goes on to say that white quarterbacks like Peyton Manning and Carson Palmer don't get criticized as much as black quarterbacks.

"I love those guys. But they don't get criticized as much as we do. They don't."

I hate this crap! Why is it that every time someone criticizes an African-American athlete, or accuses one of some form of wrong-doing, the race card gets played immediately?

There are still those who believe Michael Vick was railroaded into pleading guilty to dogfighting charges because he's African-American. That the media persecutes Barry Bonds because he's African-American, not because he's a cheating moron who treats people like flies on wallpaper. That O.J. is a great guy who is targeted because of the color of his skin.

Please! Enough already! I know we don't live in a perfect society, but aren't we better than that? I know some issues ARE about race, but not every single one. For African-Americans to cry racism every time a controversy arises is doing themselves a disservice.

Many of the world's most popular athletes are African-American. Tiger Woods, LeBron James, Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan leap to mind.

But, back to McNabb. To me, his claim is off base. A small percentage of people in this country may still view African-American quarterbacks differently than white ones, but that isn't why McNabb is getting booed.

He is getting booed in Philly because it's been a long time since he has actually played well for the Eagles. He is not the player he used to be, the Eagles are 0-2 this season and haven't scored a touchdown.

I also think there are a couple of other things eating at McNabb. Last season the Eagles played better after McNabb was injured and Jeff Garcia took over at quarterback. Then, in the off-season Philadelphia drafted Kevin Kolb as his eventual successor.

Stung by all of that, McNabb refuses to look in the mirror. Instead, he does the easy thing. He plays the race card and tries to turn attention away from his own failures.

Give me a break, Donovan! You play in Philly. Mike Schmidt -- a white guy and a Hall of Famer for the Phillies -- got booed there. Hell, Santa Claus got booed in Philly!

As for white QBs getting a pass, I don't think so. Peyton Manning was ripped for years as a guy who couldn't win a Super Bowl before he finally did. Jets fans cheered the other day when Chad Pennington got hurt. Eli Manning has taken a ton of criticism in New York. Joey Harrington gets ripped everywhere he goes. Brett Favre has taken lots of heat for his play in recent years.

What about the fact that for years no one really was willing to come out and say Vick really isn't a very good quarterback? Or the fact that you never hear anyone say Tennessee's Vince Young is a mediocre passer. Are media members actually afraid to criticize them because of their race?

In reality, I think we've moved beyond the overwhelming majority of people giving a damn about the skin color of the guy playing quarterback, or any other position for that matter.

I think McNabb is just grasping at straws because his feelings are hurt, his body is betraying him and his team isn't winning.

Hey, Donovan, shut up, play better, win some games. Then they'll cheer you in Philly.

(-- originally posted at Valentine's Views On Sports)