Rams Pro Bowler Cooper Kupp is arguably the top receiver in the NFL. Fans and media alike are often impressed — yet also surprised — by what the receiver does between the white lines.
The reason for their astonishment? It’s not his height or his skill. It’s his skin tone.
“If Cooper Kupp were black, we’d all talk about him in a different way,” ESPN’s Ryan Clark said during a Tuesday appearance on The Dan Patrick Show.
“A lot of times we look at the (skin) color of a wide receiver and we want to compare them to people who they look like, more so than people who they play like.”
Clark’s not wrong, he’s just saying what everyone else is thinking. Comparing white players with other white players and black players to other black players is a lazy yet common practice that’s been around for decades.
Kupp, by the way, led the league in the three most notable receiving categories this fall: catches (145), yards (1,947) and touchdowns (16).
“Cooper Kupp is not Julian Edelman,” Clark added. “Cooper Kupp is not Wes Welker. Cooper Kupp is in the conversations with the Davante Adams and the DeAndre Hopkins of the world.”
To Clark’s credit, he views Kupp’s game for what it is.
“To me, Cooper Kupp is a Davante Adams , Justin Jefferson…he’s in the conversations with those type of guys for feel of the game, route running, and catching ability,” Clark told Patrick.
“As route running goes, I think he’s one of the greatest that’s ever lived,” said Clark. “…Cooper creates so much separation with his route running, that I just think it’s so underrated the type of athlete and player that he is.”
There’s no gray area here. In fact, it’s pretty black and white: Cooper’s elite and Clark’s a fan.
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