Do the NFL Have Any White Running Backs?

In the NFL, there are white running backs. They consist of Ryan Nall of the Chicago Bears, Christian McCaffery of the Carolina Panthers, and Rex Burkhead of the Houston Texans. Peyton Hillis of the New York Giants, Collin Mooney of the Tennessee Titans, and Danny Woodhead of the San Diego Chargers are some further recent examples.

Why are there so few white running backs in the NFL? has been a topic of discussion among sports journalists. There’s no denying that racial discrimination and exclusionary Jim Crow regulations paved the way for “position profiling” in both the NFL and college football, according to a 2008 piece by Jemele Hill for ESPN.

Black people were regarded for a very long time as being mentally unfit to play specific positions, namely quarterback. Running back was one position where African-Americans were welcomed.

Toby Gerhart’s race was brought up by an NFL scout in 2010, who claimed that “he’ll be a fine second-round pickup for someone, but I guarantee you if he was the exact same kid – but he was black – he’d go in the first round for sure” Gerhart was chosen by the Minnesota Vikings in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Although it has been an unorthodox approach to separate NFL players, rosters have unintentionally been imbalanced across many positions. White players held the position of quarterback for many years. up until 1968, when athletes like Marlin Briscoe began defying convention. Every NFL team finally has at least one starting quarterback at some point after nearly 50 years of waiting.

The NFL doesn’t have many white running backs, although there are a few in the league who are on rosters and practise squads. The NFL is steadily moving toward inclusivity for people from all backgrounds by continuing to address its biases and correct its wrongs.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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