Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson joined LeBron James, “Atlanta’s” Donald Glover, “Abbott Elementary’s” Quinta Brunson, sports marketing guru Maverick Carter and artist J Blavin on the season five premiere of HBO’s “The Shop: Uninterrupted.”
As the public figures gave testimonies highlighting moments in their careers, the guests got on the topic of how Black athletes are criticized by pro teams and being undermined. James revealed that he often feels discredited when his name isn’t mentioned among the best scorers in the NBA’s history. He quickly looked to Jackson who shared in the sentiment saying the Louisville alum “wasn’t a real quarterback.”
In 2016, Jackson was the 82nd recipient of the Heisman Trophy during his college career as quarterback at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. He later was drafted to the league in 2018 as a final first round pick for the Ravens.
However, during his scouting combine four years ago, Jackson was asked to perform wide receiver skills instead. When Brunson asked why that was happening, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “I have no idea.” Despite his accomplishments on the field, Carter told the panel of guests how “disrespectful” it is being “asked to switch positions to play something else.”
“The truth is, there’s a lot of history with [the league] not wanting Black guys to play quarterback,” Carter explained. “It started with, Oh [Black quarterbacks] can’t think quick enough. This going way back to the 70s, 80s —it’s dying off, but it’s still there.” Jackson, who appeared coy in the moment later agreed with Carter saying, “It’s still there, but that’s why I need that Championship.”
When he was asked about lessons he’s learned from the James, Jackson said, “Everything. And being a champion. I feel like that’s the one thing I want to take from him, if anything else.” He added, “You know, being a champion. Being a billionaire. That’s what I’ve been thinking about ever since I was a little kid, being a billionaire and being a champion.”
In 2019, the QB received the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award after earning all 50-first place votes making him second to Tom Brady who won in 2010.