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Ex-NFL running back calls for segregated Pro Bowl

Retired running back Rashard Mendenhall took to social media to share a proposal that garnered attention from fans and players alike.
Ex-NFL running back calls for segregated Pro Bowl in racial tirade
Posted at 2:56 PM, Dec 19, 2023

A former NFL player is facing some heat online after going on a racially-divisive tirade that proposed pitting the league's Black and White players against one other.

Retired running back Rashard Mendenhall took to X — formerly Twitter — Monday to share the proposal, saying he's "sick of average white guys commenting on football."

"Y'all not even good at football," Mendenhall added. "Can we please replace the Pro Bowl with an All-Black vs. All-White bowl so these cats can stop trying to teach me who's good at football."

Some social media users were quick to criticize the statement, but many others — including a fellow retired NFL player — decided to look past that and make light of the situation. 

Future Hall of Fame defensive end JJ Watt jokingly replied that an all-White team would "get cooked at corner," referring to a position on defense that's largely dominated by Black NFL players. Watt added that "nobody on our squad is covering Tyreek [Hill]," who is widely regarded the fastest player in the league.

Nonetheless, Mendenhall continued his tirade, seemingly in an attempt to clear the air and better explain the outburst and all the attention it's since garnered.

"Simply tired of being berated by people who aren't experts in de game," he said in a separate post on X. "We jus pretend like I'm the only athlete tired of fans talking trash? You dis upset over a single tweet. What about us? Like me or not, I'm a GREAT in football. This proves my point, u can't speak on ball alone." 

For obvious reasons, there's no way that Mendenhall's polarizing proposal would ever come to fruition and will simply be added to the long list of sports "what ifs." But more importantly, the Pro Bowl game doesn't even exist anymore.

In lieu of holding a physical matchup of the league's best players each year, the NFL has instead opted for a skills competition since 2022 to prevent players from being injured. This is just another example of a sports hot take that will have to remain in the realm of imagination.

Mendenhall, 36, retired from the NFL in 2014 after a six-year stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals. The former first-round pick won a Super Bowl with the Steelers in 2009.

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