ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Patrick Mahomes said he read about the study clause inserted into Kyler Murray’s contract and heard the criticism of his own play and that of other Black quarterbacks. Mahomes said he wouldn’t go as far as to say Black quarterbacks are evaluated differently than their white counterparts. But he did say he found it interesting that only Black quarterbacks are subject to certain types of criticism.
“Obviously, the Black quarterback has had to battle to be in this position that we are to have this many guys in the league playing,” Mahomes said Friday after the Kansas City Chiefs concluded a training camp practice. “Every day, we’re proving that we should have been playing the whole time. We’ve got guys that can think just as well as they can use their athleticism. It’s always weird when you see guys like me, Lamar [Jackson], Kyler kind of get that on them when other guys don’t. But at the same time we’re going out there to prove ourselves every day to show we can be some of the best quarterbacks in the league.”
Mahomes went on to say he still has plenty to prove. “You always feel like you have more to prove,” he said. “I promise Tom Brady is feeling like he has more to prove. That comes with any sport, any competitor. If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse. They build you up to tear you down. You’ve got to kind of know that. For me, it’s all about how I can make myself better, not what other people say. How can I make myself better so that we go out there and play football games? At the end of the day nothing matters until you’re on that football field playing and that’s where you get to prove who you are every single day.”
In a recent story in The Athletic, an unnamed NFL defensive coordinator said Mahomes’ game falls apart when he is forced to go beyond his first read. However, Mahomes otherwise received glowing reviews from other coaches in the piece and was ranked as the No. 2 quarterback in the NFL. Jackson in the same story was called less than a top level quarterback, also by an unnamed defensive coach, yet was still ranked as the 10th best signal caller in the league. Murray recently signed a contract that required him to study game material on his own for four hours per week. The Cardinals later removed that requirement from his contract.