By Don Wassall.
Last Sunday, wide receiver Brian Hartline of the Miami Dolphins had the 16th most prolific receiving day in NFL history and the most ever by a Dolphin with 253 yards. He obtained that yardage on 12 receptions, or over 20 yards per catch, including an 80 yard touchdown reception.
For the season, Hartline leads the NFL in receiving yardage through 4 games with 455 yards on 25 receptions. For his pro career he has averaged just under 16 yards per catch, better than all but a few other receivers in the entire league.
Yet Hartline’s historic game generated mostly a stifled yawn from the corporate media. On the NFL Network, during Deion Sanders’ weekly “top ten players of the day” segment, Hartline not only wasn’t number one, he wasn’t on the list at all. On other highlight shows on the NFL Network and ESPN, Hartline’s great day was politely noted but hardly featured prominently. Yet his 253 yards receiving is comparable in rarity to a quarterback throwing for 500 yards in a game. Now imagine if a black quarterback had thrown for 500 yards last Sunday. It’s not a stretch to say that not only would Deion Sanders have been dancing for joy and naming him his top player of the day, every other sports show and media outlet would likewise have been heaping him with praise.
But White receivers don’t fit into the Caste System paradigm. Oh, some are tolerated and a few undeniable stars like Wes Welker and Jordy Nelson are given grudging respect, unlike cornerback and running back, which have been artificially engineered to be black only in perpetuity despite the ever shrinking pool of capable black athletes in the U.S, but the league and its media publicists clearly want wide receiver to remain a “black thang” even though if college football recruiting and the NFL were color blind, White receivers would be the norm and blacks the exception.
And many of those media outlets that did recognize Hartline’s great game felt obliged to utlize the obligatory racist qualifiers one almost always finds when it comes to the treatment of White football players. In Hartline’s case it was “craftiness” and not his obvious speed that accounted for his performance. Michael Lombardi pontificated that, “Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline was great against the Cardinals, proving with his 253 receiving yards and 80-yard score that crafty route running is more important than blazing speed.” California Sports News wrote after Hartline’s big game against the Raiders earlier in the season: “Crafty fourth-year receiver Brian Hartline used his cutbacks to slice up Raiders cornerbacks Pat Lee and Joselio Hanson for career highs of nine catches and 111 yards,” while Phinsinsider.com attributed Hartline’s 80 yard TD catch and run on Sunday to a defender deciding to jog on the play: “Safety Adrian Wilson begins to move toward Hartline, but seems to be jogging and watching to see if the receiver catches the ball, rather than running full speed to make a play.”
In fact, like all other White receivers who overcome the tremendous obstacles that exist to filter out star high school White receivers from first being recruited by a major college program and then getting a fair opportunity in the NFL, Hartline has always been falsely portrayed as a “possession receiver” who lacks speed and play-making ability. In Hartline’s case he was a state champion hurdler in the state of Ohio in the 110 meters and 300 meters, and nearly broke the state record in the 300 meters.
But the media and the vast majority of football fans believe that no White players are as fast as even the slowest black players, even though measurables consistently show that there are a large number of White players who are very fast and very quick, and who can also jump like kangaroos. The reality is that there are far more White football players in the United States than there are black ones, and even if blacks on average are slightly faster straight line runners over a short distance, there are still plenty of white players who are also fast, not to mention second to none when it comes to work ethic, hand-eye coordination, intelligence, strength and stamina, ability to sublimate selfishness for the betterment of the team, etc.
Congratulations to Brian Hartline, who has been denigrated non-stop by both the media and many fans ever since being drafted by the Dolphins in 2009. Nothing would be sweeter than for him to finish among the top receivers in the NFL in 2012.