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BerriSimmonsJSE2009 - Journal of Sports Economics...

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http://jse.sagepub.com Journal of Sports Economics DOI: 10.1177/1527002508327383 2009; 10; 23 Journal of Sports Economics David J. Berri and Rob Simmons League Race and the Evaluation of Signal Callers in the National Football http://jse.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/10/1/23 The online version of this article can be found at: Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com On behalf of: The North American Association of Sports Economists can be found at: Journal of Sports Economics Additional services and information for http://jse.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Email Alerts: http://jse.sagepub.com/subscriptions Subscriptions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Permissions: http://jse.sagepub.com/cgi/content/refs/10/1/23 Citations at SOUTHERN UTAH UNIV LIB on March 27, 2010 http://jse.sagepub.com Downloaded from
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Race and the Evaluation of Signal Callers in the National Football League David J. Berri Southern Utah University Rob Simmons Lancaster University Until recently, the position of quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) was not an option for Black athletes. Today, many teams use Black quarterbacks, a development that might suggest race is no longer relevant when it comes to the evaluation of signal callers in the NFL. By modeling quarterback performance and salary over 1995-2006, we find that Black quarterbacks are more likely to run with the football, yet this skill is not compensated in the market. Furthermore, we find evidence of performance-related salary discrimination against Black quarterbacks in the top half of the salary distribution. Keywords: quarterback; salary; race; discrimination A lthough numerous studies have been offered examining discrimination in pro- fessional team sports like baseball and basketball, there is little a priori evi- dence that discrimination remains a problem in these sports. Consequently, it is not surprising that much of the recent research on the topic offers very mixed results with respect to the subject of discrimination. Depending on the issue examined and the methodology used, studies have found evidence of discrimination against Blacks, 1 Whites, 2 or no discrimination at all. 3 The story of professional football is different. Specifically, Black quarterbacks have historically been a relatively rare occurrence in the National Football League (NFL). The first was Willie Thrower, who threw eight passes for the Chicago Bears on October 18, 1953. These were the only eight passes Thrower ever attempted. 4 It was not until 1968 that Marlin Briscoe became the first starting Black quarterback, leading the Denver Broncos of the American Football League. 5 By the end of the 1993 season, only eight Black quarterbacks had ever received significant playing time in the NFL. Only in the mid-1990s, Blacks began to make substantial progress at this position. This marked, as Table 1 indicates, the first time Authors’ Note: Please address correspondence to Rob Simmons, Department of Economics, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YX, United Kingdom; e-mail: [email protected]
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