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Warren Moon: Black quarterbacks still victims of prejudice

Hall of Famer Warren Moon spent six years in CFL before getting a chance to quarterback in NFL. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) Hall of Famer Warren Moon spent six years in CFL before getting a chance to quarterback in NFL. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Warren Moon believes criticism directed at NFL draft prospect Geno Smith is evidence that bias against black quarterbacks remains prevalent.

Moon, who was forced to play six years in the Canadian Football League before proving he could be a record-setting NFL passer and Hall of Famer told Jarrett Bell of USA Today Smith is another example of a black quarterback being victimized by his race.

"It sounds the same as two years ago," Moon told USA Today. "It just shows that there are a lot of people in society who have the biases and stereotypes. And most of it is about your integrity or leadership or work ethic — all of these intangible things."

A recent Pro Football Weekly scouting report on the draft's top quarterback prospects downgraded Smith -- widely predicted to be the first quarterback selected in Thursday's first round -- was critical in many areas, describing him as ”a cross between Akili Smith and Aaron Brooks."

“Not a student of the game.  Nonchalant field presence — does not command respect from teammates and cannot inspire.  Mild practice demeanor — no urgency.  Not committed or focused — marginal work ethic."

Smith, who passed for more than 8,500 yards and 73 touchdowns with just 13 interceptions in his last two seasons at West Virginia, defended himself against the report by saying the evaluation was "untrue in all things.”

Many NFL draft analysts came out to defend Smith's talents and potential.

"The Pro Football Weekly report should be discarded," Trent Dilfer told USA Today. "It's almost laughable, the stuff he put in there."
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