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#pounditFriday, September 24, 2021

Booger McFarland calls out young players like Dwayne Haskins for misplaced priorities

Booger McFarland

Booger McFarland received attention on Monday night after sharing his disappointment in seeing young players like Dwayne Haskins squander opportunities.

McFarland, who played in the NFL from 1999-2007, said on ESPN’s “Monday Night Countdown” that it bothered him when young players focus on trying to build up their brand rather than build up their team and franchise. McFarland spoke in context of Haskins, who was cut by Washington on Monday. Haskins first was stripped of his captain role for violating protocol by attending a party maskless, then got benched for playing poorly on Sunday, and then skipped out on the media.

McFarland emphasized that he sees this happen more often with young African-American players because they make up a larger percentage of the player pool in the NFL (around 70 percent).

“Unfortunately I’ve seen this too many times … often times young players — especially young African-American players, because they make up 70 percent of this league, they come in to this league and they ask themselves the wrong thing. They come into this league saying not ‘how can I be a better player?’, they don’t say ‘how can I be a better teammate?’, they don’t say ‘how can I be a better person?’ The come in saying ‘how can I build my brand better?’ ‘How can I build my social media following better?’ ‘How can I work out on Instagram and show everybody that I’m ready to go,’ but when I get to the game, I don’t perform,” McFarland said.

“Dwayne Haskins unfortunately is not the first case that I’ve seen like this. And it won’t be the last. And it bothers me because a lot of it is the young African-American player. They come in and they don’t take this as a business. It is still a game to them. It’s a billion-dollar business.”

McFarland then talked about how another player like JaMarcus Russell flushed his career down the drain.

McFarland’s overall point about young players becoming busts because they have misplaced priorities is an unfortunate but somewhat common reality. He’s not saying some young white football players don’t have the same issue, because everyone knows they do. McFarland said he sees it happen more often with young African-American players because they make up more of the league. People took issue with that part of his commentary because they felt he was generalizing about young African-American football players.

Like McFarland said, it is disappointing and frustrating to see any player with talent flush it away due to poor focus and priorities. The most recent example of this unfortunate situation is Haskins, whose agent was more focused on calling out the media than holding his own client responsible.

Photo: Thomson200/Wikimedia via CC0

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