Green Bay Packers Receiver Jordy Nelson Says His Race Is Part of the Reason for His Success

Ben Maller, Yahoo! Sports, November 17, 2011

A Super Bowl hero is crediting his eye-popping success this season to old-school racial stereotypes.

Green Bay Packers’ receiver Jordy Nelson, who is white, has become one of quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ favorite targets and believes his skin color has been somewhat of an asset.

Nelson broke onto the spotlight a year ago by scoring a crucial touchdown in his team’s Super Bowl XLV win over the Steelers, becoming just the fourth NFL wide receiver ever to post nine catches for 140 yards and a score in the Super Bowl.

Other Packers receivers joke that Nelson is the beneficiary of being the only white receiver on the team, suggesting opposing defensive backs don’t think of Nelson as a big a threat.

Nelson tells the Green Bay Press Gazette that he’s used this racial bias to his advantage. “Honestly, I think it is (a factor),” Nelson told the Press Gazette. “As receivers, we’ve talked about it. I know (cornerbacks coach) Joe Whitt tells me all the time, when all the rookies come in, he gives them the heads up, ‘Don’t let him fool ya.’ That’s fine with me.”

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Among the top 15 NFL wide receivers in yardage, only New England Patriots star Wes Welker, the league leader in receptions and yards, is white.

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Apparently people have been underestimating Nelson for a while. He went from being a walk-on safety as a freshman in 2003 to posting the most prolific single season in Kansas State history, with 122 receptions for 1,606 yards in 2007.

Rodgers, the favorite to win league MVP honors, joined the conversation about racial perceptions with a teammate during Green Bay’s blowout win over the Vikings Monday night. “I was talking to ‘Wood’ (Charles Woodson) in the fourth quarter and he said, ‘When you see Jordy out there, you think, ‘Oh well, he’s a white wide receiver. He won’t be very athletic.’ But Jordy sort of breaks all those stereotypes,” Rodgers said during his weekly radio show in Milwaukee this week. “I am not sure why he keeps sneaking up on guys.”

Nelson has caught 61 passes for 1,082 yards and a stunning 13 touchdowns over his last 15 games for the Packers.

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Jordy Nelson.jpg

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  • Phil

    American football is a dull game, period. It is meant for Sub Saharan genetics, that is, 4 seconds of actions followed by 2 minutes of sloth.

    Rugby is a much more manly game and whites (and Maoris) dominate this sport, not blacks.

  • Anonymous

    I’m surprised he has made it this far being a “white receiver” Of course the NAACP wants to know why there are so few “quarter blacks” It’s great to know that the current Super Bowl champions is a team made up of mostly whites. Of course pointing this out would be considered racist.

  • whiteraven

    I have no doubt there are a lot of Jordy Nelsons out there in all positions who never get a legitimate opportunity to show their effectiveness, because they’re white.

  • fred

    Rodgers said during his weekly radio show in Milwaukee this week. “I am not sure why he keeps sneaking up on guys.”

    He’s not “sneaking up” on anyone. He’s just good.

  • Question Diversity

    I don’t agree with Nelson’s reasoning. For him to say that opposing teams’ defensive backs are underestimating him because he is white (read: slow) is to buy into the caste system stereotype that raw foot speed is the be all and end all of a good wide receiver (or defensive backs or running backs, for that matter). Far from “breaking all those stereotypes,” Nelson is endorsing them.

  • Anonymous

    “A Super Bowl hero is crediting his eye-popping success this season to old-school racial stereotypes.”

    No, ideas of white inferiority are actually NEW-school racial stereotypes.

    Old-school racial stereotypes from “the bad old days” were a lot more accurate.

  • Jeddermann.

    Green Bay during the era of Bart Starr had Boyd Dowler. Outstanding wide receiver. This Jordy is going to catch hell now I would assume. The “brothers” are going to be gunning for the whitey to whip him good!

  • kay

    If the NFL truly embraced equal hiring practices, the league would be eighty percent white and 20 percent black. It would be a good idea for them to hire men of high intelligence and character, that way they would not have as many criminals playing the game that end up broke after 5 years of being retired.

  • Anonymous

    The “brothers” are going to be gunning for the whitey to whip him good!

    What do you think they’ve been doing?

  • Harumphty Dumpty

    Here’s a website that sports fans consider to be excellent that’s devoted to exposing the discrimination that keeps the NFL so heavily black. Some of the best players that come out of college are passed over by the NFL because they are White.

    http://www.castefootball.us/

    “The Methodical Elimination of the White Running Back”

    http://goo.gl/eYq1l

    Just another of the many facets of the crushing of the White race that is part of White Genocide.

    The people who are crushing the White race and carrying out White Genocide say they are anti-racist, but what they are is anti-White.

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White

  • sedonaman

    Jackie Robinson in reverse?

  • Malcolm X

    Anonymous @ 5:52… no pointing that out wouldnt be racist, but “quarter blacks”? yea thats racist… and ohh noo its SO SURPRISING the white guy made it this far . REALLY ?! A white man gets so many breaks his way because he’s white it would be referesshing to see otherwise actually. And a white guy making millions in the NFL is not my idea of ” surprised hes been able to do well” . ONly white ppl like the Gronkowskis have THREE brothers in the NFL , you tryin to tell me that a black family could do that ?!? HA! Hard enough 2 pay for 1 kid in college much less 3,college tuiton being something low-income families struggle with. They know ppl that know ppl and got some breaks along the way.

  • Anonymous

    Many fellow whites who are into sports wonder why I hate them.

    Well, it’s the same reason why blacks don’t tend to gather around yard cross burnings.

    The philosophy behind sports are openly antagonistic towards whites. Even in sports like hockey or NASCAR, there is a movement among the higher authorities to attempt to replace white athletes (only thing preventing them in such sports is the lack of blacks actually interested in them).

  • Anonymous

    Do you realize how many Jordy Nelsons there are out there? Hundreds. He is a high caliber NFL receiver on a championship team. He is just one of very few who was given a chance. He had to walk on to play college ball. White receivers and running backs are simply NOT recruited. You won’t play in the NFL unless you are a D1 college standout. You won’t be a D1 college standout unless you are given a chance by being recruited. For how good Nelson is, he is a fluke. It all came down to a coach letting him walk on and prove himself, which he did and then some. That is a rare occurrence. By the numbers, across this land there are way more talented white athletes than black athletes. If you dispute that you are buying into one of the biggest stereotypes in history.

  • FtR

    White players are routinely discriminated against in football at all levels. That whites are unathletic is a racist stereotype of white people.

    There are very athletic white players playing pro football. Here are a few names. Clay Matthews, JJ Watt, Brooks Reed, Brian Cushing, Tim Tebow, Rob Gronkowski, Peyton Hillis, Joe Thomas and Jared Allen. All of these White men are tremendous athletes.

  • Joshua

    Anonymous wrote at 1:39 PM:

    Do you realize how many Jordy Nelsons there are out there? Hundreds. He is a high caliber NFL receiver on a championship team. He is just one of very few who was given a chance. He had to walk on to play college ball. White receivers and running backs are simply NOT recruited. You won’t play in the NFL unless you are a D1 college standout. You won’t be a D1 college standout unless you are given a chance by being recruited. For how good Nelson is, he is a fluke. It all came down to a coach letting him walk on and prove himself, which he did and then some. That is a rare occurrence. By the numbers, across this land there are way more talented white athletes than black athletes. If you dispute that you are buying into one of the biggest stereotypes in history.

    FtR wrote:

    White players are routinely discriminated against in football at all levels. That whites are unathletic is a racist stereotype of white people.

    There are very athletic white players playing pro football. Here are a few names. Clay Matthews, JJ Watt, Brooks Reed, Brian Cushing, Tim Tebow, Rob Gronkowski, Peyton Hillis, Joe Thomas and Jared Allen. All of these White men are tremendous athletes.

    NONSENSE! Anyone with the ability to draw crowds and possess superior athletic prowess would be in the pros. In fact, far more Whites attend these games then Blacks. Can you imagine how many more Whites would come and see professional football games if there were more White quarterbacks?

  • Patrick

    They are acting like he is an aberration – they already KNOW that he was a “walk on” on his college team – for those of you that don’t know “walk on” players are those not offered scholarships – and they are almost always white.

    The caste system in football starts at a very young age, I’m surprised he was even given a chance to play college football – but he was by the slimmest of margins.

    His football career was almost snuffed out before he was drafted to the NFL, how many other would be great white WRs or other “skill” players have been kept out of the NFL because the college coach didn’t like their skin condition? That’s all it takes apparently. We’re told that the NFL is all about ability – but apparently it is not, you have to have the correct pigmentation.

    Another currently famous “walk on” – Clay Matthews – that’s right, he wasn’t offered a scholarship at USC where he played. He’s now a top 5 pass rushing LB if not the #1 in the league – I wonder if how he was treated pre-NFL has something to do with why he grows out his blonde hair for all to see?

    Just a year ago EVERYONE was talking about the “high flying, pass happy” Oregon offense. But what happened when Jeff Maehl, the #1 WR on that team, entered the draft? UNDRAFTED!

    Do you think if Jeff Maehl was black that he would have gone undrafted? Could you IMAGINE a world where the #1 WR on the #1 passing offense in college football was black and that he went UNDRAFTED?

    Of course not, THAT’D be ridiculous.

    I HOPE this opens up a dialogue about racism in all levels of football – from highschool to professional, but I doubt it will. It depends too highly on the capital of the increasingly poor white person that watches it.

  • Steven

    I have been watching a lot of football shows on ESPN lately. Shows that are somewhat like the old “Crossfire” show on CNN. And I have noticed a certain racial tone to their discussions of Tim Tebow. My suspicions were confirmed a couple of days ago, when a Black commentator became angry at the new success of Tebow, and said that Tebow’s success and being “promoted to the front in the NFL” was because Tebow was White, and, the commentator further said that “brothers from the hood” were being neglected as quarterbacks in the NFL.

  • Question Diversity

    18 Steven:

    On the subject of Tim Tebow.

    I think this controversy about him almost has nothing to do with him. From my observations, his supporters and his detractors dynamically draw energy from each other. To put it another way, the people who like Tebow mainly like him because they don’t like the kind of people that don’t like him, and the people who don’t like Tebow don’t like him mainly because they have contempt for the kind of people that do like him.

    It works in degree, too — The increasing intensity of one side only fuels the intensity of the other side. The more love there is, the more hate there is going to be, and vice versa.

    And yes, race and religion are the keystones to the whole thing.

    Tim Tebow is just being who he naturally is and was reared to be. I don’t think he is being deliberately provocative.

  • Mark

    @Phil, yeah i’m sure the all white teams that first started playing intercollegiate football at Rutgers, Princeton, Harvard, etc. thought they were designing a game that would be geared to the abilities of black Africans. LOL!