Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb had been cut considerable slack recently by the media."> Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb had been cut considerable slack recently by the media.">

Sounding off

Bears quarterback <!--Default NodeId For Kordell Stewart is 664678,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:664678]>Kordell Stewart</A> reacted angrily to ESPN commentator Rush Limbaugh's allegation on "NFL Countdown" that <!--Default NodeId For Philadelphia Eagles is 109,2003--><A HREF=>Philadelphia Eagles</A> quarterback <!--Default NodeId For Donovan McNabb is 798134,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:798134]>Donovan McNabb</A> had been cut considerable slack recently by the media.

"I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL," Limbaugh said on the air last Sunday. "The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."

Stewart was troubled by what he perceived as an attack on black athletes in general, and on NFL quarterbacks in particular.

"This kind of attitude is just plain ignorant," Stewart said Thursday. "It's something that shouldn't be happening in this day and age. That it is an issue at all is a problem for me. An athlete should be considered on the basis of his skills whether he is black, brown, beige, Hispanic, or white. Limbaugh, like anyone else, should watch what he says."

Stewart felt McNabb's seemingly slow start this season to be the result of fatigue rather than a general lack of ability.

"Look at his games," Stewart said. "McNabb is running all the time. He's tired. Just as any other player would be in that situation, he's probably wearing down a little bit. When that happens, some of your decisions are not always the best decisions. That happens to just about every quarterback, even a John Elway or a Joe Montana. Generally, Donovan has a very high completion rate."

Has Stewart ever felt that race was a factor in the evaluation of his own performance?

"Probably at one time or another it has been," he said. "Generally, I try to ignore that. I think that some black athletes are more aware of the scrutiny than others are. They feel that they need to give 110% all of the time. But, that can happen to some white athletes as well."

What about Steve McNair or Michael Vick?

"I can't answer for them of course, but I'm sure that they have felt some pressure from time to time due to race. It's a sad situation when something like that becomes an issue. It makes me sick."

"At the end of the day, you just want to be thought of and judged for your abilities on the field, as the leader of your team. If I had my way, it never would come down to race in any situation. I don't think of myself as a black athlete, just as an athlete. I would hope that is how others perceive me as well."

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