In the NFL, there are white running backs. Some of them are the Houston Texans’ Rex Burkhead, the Carolina Panthers’ Christian McCaffery, and the Chicago Bears’ Ryan Nall. Peyton Hillis of the New York Giants, Collin Mooney of the Tennessee Titans, and Danny Woodhead of the San Diego Chargers are three more examples from the last few years.
Several sportswriters have wondered why the NFL doesn’t have many white running backs. In 2008, Jemele Hill wrote an article for ESPN that talked about the past. In it, she said, “There’s no doubt that racial discrimination and Jim Crow policies that excluded black people helped bring about “position profiling” in both the NFL and college football. For a long time, people thought that black people were not smart enough to play certain positions, like quarterback. Running back was a spot where African-Americans were welcome.
In 2010, an NFL scout said that Toby Gerhart’s race could hurt him in the NFL Draft. He said, “He’ll be a great second-round pick-up for someone, but if he was the same guy but black, he’d definitely go in the first round.” In the 2010 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings picked Gerhart in the second round.
Race has been a strange way to divide NFL players, but rosters have been uneven at different positions without anyone realising it. For many years, white players were the only ones to play quarterback. until 1968, when players like Marlin Briscoe began to break the rules. Every NFL team has had at least one starting quarterback at some point, but it took almost 50 years for that to happen.
There aren’t many white running backs in the NFL, but there are a few on rosters and practise squads all over the league. The NFL is still working to get rid of its biases and fix its mistakes, making it more open to people from all walks of life.