March 3, 2006, - 5:39 am
By Debbie Schlussel
It’s no secret that you don’t need to be smart to play in the National Football League. Or any major sports league.
When one thinks “pro football player,” the name Einstein does not immediately come to mind. So, when the NFL has a test that measures the most basic level of intelligence, and a Black player fails miserably, does that mean the test and the NFL are racist?
Apparently so, according to Detroit Free Press sports columnist Drew Sharp and assorted others. Sharp calls the Wonderlic Intelligence test a “ridiculous stigma,” because a promising NFL prospect, Vince Young, scored “idiot” on the IQ test. Stigma? Since when was an intelligence test a “stigma”?
Well, actually, for years–in the Black community. Every year when SATs are administered for college admissions, race merchants claim it’s biased against them. No matter that Blacks who are recent immigrants from Africa and the islands do very well on the SATs–better, on average, than Whites.
Back to the NFL. Young scored a six out of a possible 50, the lowest score ever garnered on the exam. The NFL administers this test to every player interested in being drafted into the league.
It’s not like the test is brain surgery. Here’s a sample question: The ninth month of the year is? They actually give multiple choice options for this simple query. Then there’s this one: Paper sells for 21 cents per pad. What will four pads cost? And this toughie: Which number in the following group of numbers represents the smallest amount?: 7, .8, 31, .33, or 2.
Finally, there’s this one, which normally on-target USA Today sports columnist Jon Saraceno thinks is genius stuff: A boy is 17 and his sister twice as old. When the boy is 23, how old will his sister be?
If you didn’t get all four correct answers to these questions immediately, then you really are too dumb to play even in the NFL. Sorry, but there’s nothing racist about these. It’s, frankly, an idiot litmus test. And you don’t want complete idiots working for you, just as NFL owners don’t.
Not that they’ve succeeded.
The fact is that even for a league of dummies, there has to be a minimum standard, a minimum level past which the utter stupidity cannot exceed.
Another fact is that if the test is so racist, it’s notable that the majority Black NFL membership has never complained about it. In fact, the NFL Players Association, the union to which every current NFL player must belong, is headed by one Gene Upshaw. Guess what race he is? And, yet, each time Upshaw, his player representatives, and lawyers negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with the NFL, they NEVER make the Wonderlic test an issue. Never. It’s never come up.
The union negotiates every imaginable condition and term of employment imaginable for an NFL player. If they felt the test was “racist,” or a hindrance to making money in every way, they’d have gotten rid of it.
Yet, Drew Sharp and the sports race police say the test is racist, a way to keep Vince Young from becoming another Black starting quarterback in the pros. Didn’t they ruin Rush Limbaugh’s sports broadcasting career over exactly this type of sophistry?
And here’s another racist item: Unlike White players–and everyone else–Vince Young of the low score of 6 was allowed to re-take the Wonderlic exam, garnering a 16. That’s still below average for non-college graduates, according to Saraceno, and much lower than what the NFL prefers.
How did Young instantly gain more 10 points and go up 167% in his score on an IQ test? IQs simply don’t change that radically from one test-taking session to the next. Unless Young had help the second time around.
The very WHITE Dan Marino only scored 14 on the Wonderlic exam, two points below Young’s second score. But we never heard him–or Drew Sharp–complain the exam was anti-White or anti-Italian. It didn’t prevent him from becoming a quarterback, either.
According to USA Today’s Saraceno, the very WHITE Pat McInally, a Harvard receiver and Rhodes scholar applicant, sank three rounds in the NFL draft, after his high Wonderlic score was posted to NFL owners. The problem was, he scored TOO high.
Then-New York Giants GM George Young told him, “Look, we don’t want to draft players who are too dumb. And we sure as hell don’t want to draft ’em too smart.”
So, is an IQ test racist on its face? If you believe that, then you’d have to believe Blacks don’t have high IQs.
And that would make you–and sports commentators like Drew Sharp (who is Black)–the real racist.
Tags: Africa, Black starting quarterback, brain surgery, cent, Dan Marino, Debbie Schlussel It, Detroit Free Press, Drew Sharp, football, Gene Upshaw, George Young, Harvard, Jon Saraceno, National Football League, New York Giants, NFL, NFL Players Association, Pat McInally, player, pro football player, Quarterback, sports broadcasting career, sports columnist, sports commentators, sports league, USA Today, Vince Young, Wonderlic Intelligence