Athlete’s Performance Defies Hasty, Implicit Racial Stereotypes
Due to the Oregon quarterback’s lack of clear European or African heritage, lazy sportswriters are reportedly still unable to evaluate Marcus Mariota’s physical skills based on his race. While the Heisman winner has earned praise for his athletic ability, it is still uncertain whether he is “sneaky quick” or “physically gifted.”
“Sure we all know he’s a great QB, but is it because of his scrappiness or his raw athleticism?” said Sports Illustrated columnist Dan Basset of the Hawaiian native. “I mean what type of last name is Mariota anyways? If his name was Marcus O’Mariota I’d be able to tell, but this one’s a real doozy.”
Several scouts, such as Tampa Bay’s Scott Costello, bemoaned the first Samoan Heisman winner’s indescribable talents, along with his unclear ethnic heritage.
“From a lot of his game film, he looks like a great pocket passer who can extend plays when necessary, you know, like an Aaron Rodgers type,” said Costello. “But then someone told me his middle name was Ardel. Ardel? I mean, really? This guy is impossible to classify.”
Added Costello, “He seems almost like an islander version of Russell Wilson, but that doesn’t feel right either.”
In recent weeks, Mariota has been compared to Florida State Quarterback Jameis Winston, also a projected first-round pick with physical abilities expected to succeed at the next level.
“When it comes to players like Jameis [Winston], you know you’re getting a physical freak with raw talent who needs to improve on his mental game. But Marcus could be the whole package, or none of it. I just can’t tell,” said Costello, who posited that Mariota could be “a coach’s son or just an illegitimate father, or anything in between, really.”
At press time, members of the media agreed that Mariota had a physical presence most similar to fellow Samoan Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, if Johnson had ever played professional football.