Stanford Cardinal Christian McCaffrey believes that his race puts him at a disadvantage in regards to the way he is seen as a football player. The running back, who is also a return specialist for the team, recently told Sports Illustrated that his athleticism was under appreciated simply because he is white.
He told SI, “When you read about white athletes these days and white skill possession receivers specifically, one word you’ll always find is tough. You’ll rarely see explosive, athletic, stuff like that. … You get a little bit upset: ‘I ran the same 40 as this guy, and you’re calling him … .’ People do the eye test and underestimate me, so I do play with a chip on my shoulder.”
McCaffrey’s rushing, returning and receiving accomplishments last season earned him a trip to New York as a Heisman finalist. Only one FBS player other than McCaffrey (2,019), Derrick Henry (2,219), rushed for more than 2,000 yards.
McCaffrey also broke the NCAA record for all purpose yardage in one season last year, racking up a total of 3,864 yards. The record was previously held by rthe legendary Barry Sanders, who played collegiately for Oklahoma State and professionally for the Detroit Lions.
Despite this, McCaffrey still feels underestimated, and his father empathizes him. McCaffrey’s father, Ed McCaffrey, was also an athlete. He had a 13-year NFL career, played largely with the Denver Broncos.
“There are immediate stereotypes about a white running back who grew up in the suburbs of Colorado,” Ed McCaffrey said. “When we’ve gone to camps or all-star games, he walks on the field and people look at him like he’s nothing.”
With a couple of years left in his college career, McCaffrey is hopeful he can change the way he is perceived as an athlete.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports