June 3, 2011 § 1 Comment

Why are there so many white quarterbacks in football? Why do we only see a few black quarterbacks each year and even fewer excel? The main thought process behind this all is due to racial stacking. Stacking relates to the phenomenon of finding a non-random distribution of whites and blacks in certain playing positions. An example for this is the typical NFL or college football quarterback. There are many theories and proven examples of this occurrence. One theory is that white people have a better quick analysis of events while black people have a natural athleticism and raw strength.

Many coaches use this technique by placing players of certain race in positions without consideration of other people who may be suited to play that position. Not only do coaches enforce this theory but it is also enforced by socio economic backgrounds. Many black athletes do not have as many opportunities that most white athletes did as they were growing up. In the instance of my former offensive line coach Jay Gore, who now is the head coach at McGavok High School, he could drive himself to our workouts over the summer at Brentwood High School due to the accessibility of cars that the kids had. Unlike this, now at McGavok, he had to drive around and pick up players due to the inability for certain black athletes on his team to get just a ride to workouts over the summer. This example shows the ability of opportunities that are presented to white athletes over black athletes of certain socio economic backgrounds.

Whites have more opportunities that allow them to dominate the positions of higher thinking and quicker decision making. The statistics from the 2010 Racial and Gender Report Card: National Football League confirm that these positions are still racially dominated.

The primary reason that the positions shown on the graph for defensive positions are mainly black is due to the way that a majority of black athletes were raised in inner city communities. To find out the reason why you can go to a blacktop court on a weekend and watch these athletes play basketball. Even though this is a different sport than football many of the things can be carried over to the football field. Such as the ability to make a read of a deceptive behind the back pass and pick it off and go to the opposing goal and score. The blacktop directly relates to a cornerback and how he must read a quarterback to intercept a ball and run for a touchdown. Also the mentality that goes along with being on the blacktops of an inner city basketball court helps a (defensive) linebacker. Many of the courts work as a win or leave. As many linebackers must make key tackles and coming from that mentality most of these linebackers must make the decision to make this tackle one on one or let him by and potentially loose the game because of one play.

In the next piece of my ethnographic research I will overview communal living and how it affects team chemistry and even builds upon stacking.


Lapchick, Richard. “The 2010 Racial and Gender Report Card: National Football League.” Tide Sport, 29 Sept. 2010. Web. 3 June 2011. <http://www.tidesport.org/&gt;.

http://www.tidesport.org/RGRC/2010/2010%20NFL%20Racial%20and%20Gender%20Report%20Card.pdf  (Page 29 and 30 have statistical charts backing my information.)



§ One Response to

  • ethnolust says:

    Interesting post. I would love to see you include a little more data in the writing. I’m curious to know how coaches, athletes, and other people working with athletics are talking about these issues. Feel free to use direct quotes to support the ideas. These are some elements that will help support the statements that you and Lapchick make.

    At the moment, it is clear that you’re sharing ideas that you’re still fleshing out. While you’ll want to continue exploring as you are doing now, remember that the data needs to be presented. That is what you should work to explain at some point in the project.

    I look forward to seeing the future steps you’ll undertake in this project!

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