Talk about first world problems.
Ryan Swope ran the second-fastest 40-yard dash at the 2013 NFL Combine in a blistering 4.34 seconds (tied with Tavon Austin and Onterio McCalebb). He is Texas A&M’s all-time leader with 244 career receptions. He proved time and again that, despite the fact that he is only 6-foot, he can compete and succeed against the very best defensive backs in college football.
And he is white.
Apparently, this fact has left a legion of folks conditioned to believe African-Americans are the only people allowed to be fast just plain stupefied. Swope admitted as much when speaking during the Dan Patrick Radio Show, via NBC Sports.
“I think a lot of people were pretty shocked. You don’t see that every day, a white guy running a 4.3,” Swope said
Obviously, the last thing a guy like Swope wants to do is cause some sort of an uproar. The fact of the matter is Swope is incredibly, incredibly fast.
Maybe he is given enough credit for his numbers and his speed, but perhaps he isn’t.
There are a few things that we can say with nearly 100-percent certainty. First and foremost is the fact that Swope’s player profile on NFL.com compares him to Jordan Shipley, another white receiver, and that his profile claims he only possesses average top-end and straight-line speed. Here’s the exact quote on Swope’s perceived weaknesses as well as his projected production in the NFL.
His height, straight-line speed and acceleration are only average, limiting him to a slot or number three receiver role at the next level. Doesn’t have the elite athleticism to elude NFL-caliber defenders in space, and his strength is not enough to run through pro linebackers and defensive backs in the second level.
The former high school running back still possesses that compact build and toughness, but his strong hands and awareness as a receiver have made him a favorite of both Ryan Tannehill and Johnny Manziel. Swope is the type of player who does all the little things right. While he is most likely limited to a slot role in the NFL, it’s tough to not imagine him having a lengthy career.
African-Americans face this type of stereotyping in offices and businesses all across America. It is interesting now, seeing the role reversed in the world of sports.
Obviously, we’d like to be living in a country where men and women are judged for their performance on the field or in the workplace. Where men and women can be free of all prejudices, whether it be in the world of business, sports, or anything else.
Apparently, we’re not there yet, and it took a really fast white guy to show us that.