Raheem Morris said the Falcons want a QB that’s the ‘best fit’ for Atlanta — he means Black

Raheem Morris said the Falcons want a QB that’s the ‘best fit’ for Atlanta — he means Black

Quarterback is the most important position in all of sports. The Falcons are on the hunt for a new one. And not only does their next signal-caller need to be a perfect match for the team, but for the city. Atlanta is Black as hell, which means their next starting quarterback probably will be, too.

“You want to go get the best fit for your people. You want to go get the best fit for your coaches. You want to go get the best fit for our city. You want to do all of those things. There’s nothing ruled out,” new Falcons head coach Raheem Morris told CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones.

“And I know you’re gonna jump all over the best fit for the city thing. I mean, I can see the excitement,” he added. “People are gonna read into those words and whatever. However they do those things, and you can’t stop that. There’s people that are from Atlanta, there’s people from around Atlanta. You can name the mileage and how close people are, but you’ve got to do what’s best and what’s right for your team at the right time, and we won’t rule out anything.”

While Morris didn’t explicitly say the franchise was looking for a Black quarterback, it’s easy to read between the lines. This was a Black head coach, who reports to a Black General Manager, for a team that plays in a Black city, as Morris said this to a Black reporter, during Black History Month.

One plus one equals two.

To be clear, Morris understands that the lack of talent at quarterback plays a major part in the Falcons’ failures. “If we had better quarterback play I may not be standing here at the podium,” he recently admitted.

Having a Black head coach is rare in the NFL, and so is having a Black GM. The combination of the two is even more unique. At this point, the Falcons might as well go for it all and get a Black quarterback to complete the trinity. Time and time again, pro sports have proven that fit is the most important thing. It’s not always about who hires you or what pick you are in the draft, as that fails in comparison to if that location is a place where you can flourish. Think about it: The Falcons were flirting with Bill Belichick before they hired Morris.

Can you imagine that dude kicking it in Atlanta?


It’s why Trae Young went to the Hawks and Luka Doncic ended up with the Mavericks. We know which of the two players involved in the memorable NBA Draft day trade is better than the other. But “culturally”, Young was a better fit for Atlanta, in the same way that Dallas has been the perfect place for Doncic.

Let’s not act like the Falcons aren’t the same franchise that made Michael Vick the first Black quarterback to be taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the history of the NFL Draft. Matt Ryan may have taken that franchise to the Super Bowl and won an MVP, but Vick is still arguably the most beloved QB in franchise history — even after all of the dogfighting charges. Those No. 7 jerseys aren’t going anywhere. D.J. Shockley even used to get a lot of love as a backup, as he was a College Park native and starred at Georgia.

Between having the Blackest, and quietly the best, rivalry in all of the NFL with the New Orleans Saints, an amazing tailgate scene, and the electric atmosphere around the city and inside the dome on gameday, this is a situation where fit is of the ultimate importance. There’s a reason the Falcons were the only team to have over 50 artists at their celebration of 50 years of hip-hop last season.

The city of Atlanta has only had Black mayors since Maynard Jackson took office in 1974. Not only is the city majority Black, but it’s considered this country’s Black Mecca, as it’s the home to six Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This is the one place where race being a factor in a team’s decision on who should or shouldn’t be the face of the franchise should matter. It would be dumb not to have that discussion or consider it, given all that comes with being a city’s starting NFL quarterback.

In the end, a veteran like Kirk Cousins or rookies like Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy could all wind up being viable options for what the Falcons need to make an impact. But let’s not act like if Jayden Daniels or Justin Fields were successful in a Falcons jersey, the excitement around the city of Atlanta wouldn’t reach a different level. 

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.