Troy Apke has officially ended the NFL’s eighteen-year streak without a single white cornerback.
Apke has been signed by the Washington Football Team, becoming him the league’s first white cornerback in nearly two decades.
The scarcity of white cornerbacks in the NFL is an issue that comes up online practically every NFL season.
Even though this has been the norm for quite some time, fans appear to find the lack of representation in this position incredibly intriguing.
This article will examine the history of white cornerbacks in the National Football League. And try to explain why a white cornerback hasn’t started in this league in nearly two decades.
When was the last time an NFL team started a white cornerback?
Jason Seahorn is often regarded as the final white cornerback to play in an NFL game. In 2002, he retired from the position of cornerback.
Kevin Kaesviharn, however, was the last white cornerback to play in an NFL game. From 2001 to 2003, Kaesviharn began his Bengals career as a cornerback.
Kaesviharn was moved to the safety position following the 2003 season. Before retirement, he started 47 more games at safety.
Many people don’t realize he’s the last white cornerback to start in the NFL because of his position adjustment.
It’s worth noting, though, that there have been other instances in which white cornerbacks have been in the NFL but did not start.
During the 2013 season, Julian Edelman filled in at cornerback when needed.
Many fans do not believe Edelman to be a true white cornerback because he is primarily a slot receiver.
There are a couple of additional white cornerbacks that have played a few snaps but never started.
Why don’t white cornerbacks play in the NFL?
The subject of why there aren’t enough white cornerbacks in the NFL may be contentious. As a result, we’ll go over a few reasons why there aren’t many white NFL players in this position below.
The following are the three key variables that could have led to this circumstance. Discrimination against black athletes in the past, as well as discrimination against white players, were also factors.
Early On, There Was Discrimination Against Black Players
Discrimination is one reason that may have contributed to the paucity of white cornerbacks in the NFL.
This happened when African Americans started playing football. There was a time when black football players were only allowed to play particular positions.
Because they couldn’t go out for quarterback or receiver, these athletes were forced to take on less glamorous positions for the squad.
As a result, white players could either choose a position where they exclusively played against white players or cornerback, where they would battle against both white and black players.
Making the team and earning a starting job became more difficult as a result of this.
As a result, a large number of professional black cornerbacks have emerged. White players, on the other hand, rarely played this position.
This means that whether your father was a professional athlete or if you grew up watching football on TV, you were already aware of race-based positions.
An African American fan is more inclined to support Deion Sanders, but a white fan may identify with Troy Aikman.
Some individuals may find this disrespectful, but the truth is that you are more inclined to try to imitate someone similar to you.
In short, people strive to become what they are familiar with, which for many black athletes growing up was a cornerback.
And a cornerback was hardly a position that white football fans imagined themselves playing.
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Lack of Physical Characteristics
Physical characteristics, in my opinion, are the most likely reason for the disparity in the number of black and white cornerbacks in the NFL.
This is another topic that may offend some people, yet it is nearly difficult to avoid in this discussion. Every single running event record, from the 100-meter dash to the Marathon, is held by black athletes.
This is not a coincidence, and it should be taken into account when considering white cornerbacks in the NFL.
Another physical characteristic of black athletes that makes this posture more favorable for them is that they have longer extremities.
Longer limbs can be traced back to Sub-Saharan Africa, where they were used to minimize body heat.
Longer arms are one of the most important characteristics of a cornerback.
All of this isn’t to imply that a white cornerback shouldn’t exist. Or at the very least, this is the sole reason there isn’t.
However, these distinguishing characteristics should help you understand why the league is so divided.
White Players Are Discriminated Against
Discrimination is another plausible cause for the NFL’s paucity of white cornerbacks.
Let’s be honest, the NFL hasn’t had a starter cornerback in eighteen years. When coaching staff or scouts see a white cornerback, it’s safe to assume they’ll act with care.
Both of the last two white cornerbacks to start in the NFL wore black arm sleeves.
Even though one of the corners claimed it was due to the weather. “I wore sleeves for a reason,” Jason Seahorn explained.
It’s also worth noting that Seahorn is known as the “last white cornerback” among his teammates. Had been a safety until his college coach walked in on him when he was playing hoops.
Seahorn’s coach spotted him spinning his hips, hopping, and cutting athletically during this basketball game.
His coach thought he could play corner after watching this. Which he did until he was drafted into the NFL as a starter.