Exist White Running Backs in the NFL?

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In the NFL, there are white running backs. These players include Rex Burkhead of the Houston Texans, Christian McCaffery of the Carolina Panthers, and Ryan Nall of the Chicago Bears.

Peyton Hillis of the New York Giants, Collin Mooney of the Tennessee Titans, and Danny Woodhead of the San Diego Chargers are additional recent examples.

Several sportswriters have pondered why there are so few white running backs in the NFL. Jemele Hill wrote an article for ESPN in 2008 that provided historical context: “There’s no doubt that racial discrimination and exclusionary Jim Crow policies helped usher in ‘position profiling’ in both the NFL and college football. Long ago, blacks were considered intellectually incapable of playing certain positions, including quarterback. Running back was a position where African-Americans were welcome.

In 2010, an NFL scout suggested that Toby Gerhart’s race could be a liability in the NFL Draft, stating, “He’ll be a great second-round pick-up for somebody, but if he were black, he’d definitely go in the first round.” In the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings selected Gerhart.

Race has been an odd way to divide NFL players, but rosters have been unintentionally imbalanced across positions. White players dominated the quarterback position for decades. until 1968, when players such as Marlin Briscoe began to break the mould. It took nearly 50 years for every NFL team to have a starting quarterback at one point.

There are a handful of white running backs on NFL rosters and practise squads. The NFL continues to dismantle its biases and rectify its wrongdoings, inching its way toward racial and ethnic diversity.

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