Sportress of Blogitude

Cris Carter: White wide receivers don’t get enough credit

Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter suggested that white players who excel at the position he played do not get the credit they deserve for their talent and athleticism.

The ESPN analyst was making an appearance on “Mike & Mike” Wednesday when he made the point that white wide receivers are generally viewed as products of a system or benefactors of a talented quarterback, not for their talent.

“I just don’t think they give them credit,” he said, via Eye on Football. “They make excuses, they say it’s the system, they say it’s the quarterback. But a guy has a certain skill set and that means if he plays outside, plays inside, to me they are very, very good athletes. And they don’t give them credit for their athleticism.”

As noted by SportsGrid, 17 of the 185 wide receivers who were on NFL rosters last season were white. Of those 17, two ranked among the top 10 in receptions: Green Bay Packers wideout Jordy Nelson (98) and New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (92). With both receivers lost for the season due to injuries, Carter pointed out that it hasn’t been and will continue to not be easy for their respective teams to replace what those players brought to the offense, regardless of their race or the perceptions of the reasons behind their success.

“… Jordy Nelson is one of the best route runners, very, very explosive, a deep threat and can run any route in the route tree and is great with the ball in his hands after the catch. now, Edelman is a tremendous slot receiver, has great short area quickness, has the understandability to read the defense and great chemistry with Tom Brady …  and when people evaluate them they think that they’re less athletes or products of the system and I just don’t think that’s fair to what they’re doing and what they’re accomplishing.”

It’s certainly a complicated issue to discuss given the touchy subject matter, but Carter makes several salient points about how perception is not necessarily reality as it relates to the less-than-colorblind lens through which we often view athletes.