The Enigma Of JC Watts
   by  RB Ham
   What's up with JC Watts? Is it the religion? Is it his greed?
What's up with this former athletic maverick, did he learn nothing? How can he ignore the institutional bias
that the Party he is affiliated with supports?

   Long ago JC was a young stud quarterback just graduated from Oklahoma, after starring for years as the
linchpin in their wishbone offence. Stereotyped as a good-run, no-pass quarterback (strangely, the same
was said of many black qb's of the time[ tongue-in-cheek, I do that]), JC wasn't given a chance to play his
position in the NFL. I can't remember if he was drafted or not, but I do remember talk of him having to
switch positions to make it in the big league.

   JC went to Canada. In Canada, he was welcomed at his position and soon became a star. Like Warren
Moon before him, he proved that a black Quarterback had what it takes. While in Canada he was surely
exposed to the differences in Race relations between the two countries. Surely, he must have noticed that
the commitment to tolerance and equality helped Minorities level the playing field in all areas of life from
Sports to Business to Politics. Here, he was judged by his performance on the field and his relationship
with the media was excellent. Here he wasn't called a black quarterback. Or an 'athletic quarterback,
whose speed and instincts make up for his lack of cerebral qualities.'

   Fortunately, times have changed. Progress has been slow, but now it's clear that being a great athlete is
no hindrance to the position of qb in the NFL. More young black kids get the chance to show what they
can do, they're not automatically ruled out and urged to switch positions. Talk of 'cerebral qualities' has
changed to talk of giving them 'time to develop'.

   Warren Moon came back to the NFL after 5 years of owning the CFL to prove the stereotype wrong.
Doug Williams won a Super Bowl after almost being run out of the League for failing the 'Jackie Robinson'
litmus test. Now, guys like Steve McNair, Shawn King, Kordell Stewart, Michael Vick,etc. etc. are all the rage.
It's a great sign, and I think it's only going to get better. Black head coaches and assistants are also
growing. The black community will point out, however, the lack of Owners and Senior Management. But
Rome wasn't built in a day.
   Is JC just working through the system, as he claims, deeply committed to 'family values' of the
Republican party?

   Or is it the fact that Republican 'market values' have made him one of the wealthy few?
Like Charles Barkley, has he rationalized his alliance with the monied interests, by accepting that he too
will be a profit-driven, hide behind the Church, Free market Apologist?

   As a Canadian I find it hard to understand how he failed to grow a more genuine socially responsible
outlook. Sure, Canada's not perfect. Our treatment of the Aboriginal peoples, to this day, is to our profound
shame. Yet, sincere well meaning social programs are not always failures, many young native Canadians
do take advantage of the educational and technical oppurtunities that are offered. Our government support
for culture and the arts gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment. But more needs to be done.
Especially in educating the children of the incredible danger of Substance abuse, which remains the
primary problem in the native community as a whole. Plus more oversight on the Chief's Councils would be
good. Graft and corruption are widespread, as in any power structure with no real checks and balances.
Improvemrnts must be made here, it's REAL bad to be fleecing your own people. In any culture or ethnic or
religious group. It's REAL bad.

   The point is awareness. If things are not right and you can't change them right away, you should still
have an AWARENESS of the problems. Some kind of comprehension of and proposed changes to an
unfair and bigoted idealogical Official View. Sadly, from the interviews I've seen and the profiles I've read,
Mr. Watts gives one little hope that he is aware. He continues on a blind path that may make a few of his
kind rich and famous, while that same path grinds down, exploits and discards the majority of those whom
he should feel more obligated to help.

   More sinister I suppose is to choose to believe that he is aware, and that he just doesn't give a damn.
Maybe he's cowed by the presence of Steve Largent (R-concussed), after all Steve 'made it' in the REAL
League, while JC had to go ply his trade in the 'inferior' League. You know, the League that didn't give a
damn about the colour of his skin.

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