McNabb Benching Raises the Race Issue

Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan would probably argue that Donovan McNabb's benching was a pure sports decision. He must not be aware of the Redskins' sorry history on racial issues.

Better days: Mike Shanahan and Donovan McNabb (Getty Images)

The issue was bound to surface. When Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan pulled star quarterback Donovan McNabb in the last two minutes of a close game against Detroit, there was widespread shock in the stands, on the team and among the pundits. The D.C. team had mortgaged a sizable chunk of its future to land McNabb, who has never had the full support of Philadelphia fans despite taking them to four NFC East championships, five NFC Championship games and a Superbowl. Why it's not a routine personnel change can be blamed on the long, tortured history of the Redskins when it comes to black players. We at The Root think it smacks of a lack of faith -- something that may sound familiar to that other black quarterback: Barack Obama.

Washington Post columnist Mike Wise dissects the issue.

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