I'm really uninterested in the fact that Peyton Hillis is white. It's not that white people being successful in areas dominated by blacks is, in itself, uninteresting. There's a lot to be said about Eminem, for instance. But I don't really see it here. Hillis seems equally uninterested ("I don't put race into the equation.") Which leaves me wondering about this:
Since Hillis can't make sense of his past, I'll take a stab at it. His previous coaches likely spent so much time looking for runners with certain skill sets that they never envisioned that Hillis could be more than what he was. He got placed in a box, and that's not just because of his skin color. It's because this is what happens when people don't have the vision to see beyond the expectations they've already established in their own minds.If you think this is flawed logic, just consider the plight of black quarterbacks in the past. Many were labeled as "athletes" or "scramblers" and rarely given a chance to show their abilities as passers because they didn't fit a certain NFL mold. The irony now is that mobility is a treasured asset in quarterbacks, but that's also beside the point. In those days, if you didn't look the part, you didn't get the part.In Hillis' case, some people will see race attached to this story and assume it's an attempt to be controversial. It's actually just an attempt to be honest. Hillis is showing us something we haven't seen in the league in awhile. In the process, he's reminding us of what makes sports so special in the first place -- that the whole point of competition is to make us understand what can happen when somebody gets a chance.
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