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Ravens QB Robert Griffin III on overcoming stereotypes facing Black NFL quarterbacks

Ravens QB Robert Griffin III on overcoming stereotypes facing Black NFL quarterbacks

Over the last month, America has been having a long-overdue conversation about race, justice and equality in our society. At NBC Sports Washington, we wanted to further the dialogue by providing a forum for DMV-area sports figures who are thought leaders on these important issues.

NBC Sports Washington is launching the third part of an ongoing video series entitled Race in America. This week, Robert Griffin III joined Chris Miller along with Baltimore Ravens teammate Calais Campbell and William & Mary football head coach Mike London for the last of three roundtable discussions to share his experiences, thoughts and how he’s using all platforms in this fight. To watch the full interview, click here.

Back in 2012, all eyes were squarely on Robert Griffin III as he made his much-hyped jump to the NFL. Flashbulbs went off as Griffin (wearing burgundy and gold socks) walked the red carpet at Radio City Music Hall in New York City before being selected 2nd overall by Washington, a team that dealt multiple future first-round picks to move up and select him.

Yes, he entered the league as a Heisman Trophy winner from a football powerhouse at Baylor, but still questions surrounded Griffin as began his professional career. Those questions lingered despite an incredibly successful debut season that saw him win NFL Rookie of the Year honors and lead Washington to an NFC East title.

Race has always been a topic Griffin has had to address, dating all the way back to 2012 when he told reporters, “I am an African-American in America. That will never change. But I don't have to be defined by that.”

On ‘Race in America,’ a panel hosted by NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller, Griffin joined fellow Raven Calais Campbell and William & Mary football coach Mike London to continue that same conversation that has followed him his entire career.

“Sometimes as an African-American quarterback I think to myself, ‘Man, what if I was white,” Griffin said. “What if I didn’t have to deal with some of the stereotypes that come with being an African-American quarterback?”

RACE IN AMERICA: WATCH THE FULL ROUNDTABLE HERE

Griffin threw for over 4,200 yards and completed over 72% of his passes during his 2011 Heisman campaign. He followed that up by throwing 20 TD compared to just 5 INT in his rookie season. Still, the questions and criticism persisted.

“When you’re able to go out and put up the type of numbers that I was in college and also in the pros, that doesn’t lead to someone saying those things about you if you’re a white quarterback,” Griffin said. “As an African-American quarterback, you don’t really get the benefit of the doubt in those situations.”

Griffin has taken advantage of his platform and social reach to point out the constant struggle, not only for Black professional athletes, but the entire Black community. He recently posted “Sometimes we just wish we wouldn’t have to defend ourselves against racism and prejudice from the second we wake up,” a tweet he expounded upon during the ‘Race in America’ roundtable.

“When you talk about someone who’s just waking up not in the NFL, every time they step out the door as an African-American male they’re deemed a threat to society,” Griffin said.

“Video after video after video after video of people of color being mistreated, some old some new, you just wonder like, ‘Man, is there ever going to be a time where we can wake up and not have to be subjected to that type of treatment, that type of profiling, from the second we literally open our eyes.”

To watch the full roundtable discussion, featuring Griffin, Calais Campbell and Mike London, click here.

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Calais Campbell brings home the highest Madden rating on Ravens

Calais Campbell brings home the highest Madden rating on Ravens

Little by little Madden NFL 21 rankings have been leaked as the franchise gears up for a release on August 25. Friday night, Madden released the complete rankings and boy are there some interesting overalls out there.

A few notables were released prior to Friday, like the cover athlete quarterback Lamar Jackson receiving a 94 overall. He was the third-rated QB behind league MVP Patrick Mahomes (99) and Seattle Seahawks Russel Wilson (97), however, that wasn't enough to make him the highest-rated player on the Ravens squad.

“I wish it was better,” Jackson said on SportsCenter. “But hey, it’s better than it was last year. I guess we can roll with it till the season starts.”

Running back Mark Ingram ripped EA when his rating was revealed earlier this week -- he wasn't happy with his 87 overall.

“EA you sleeping on me,” he said in a hilarious video the company shared on Twitter. “Speed, strength awareness, I know y’all got me fumbling –– a couple times but not really. Let’s reevaluate this thing. Increase me.”

RELATED: MARK ANDREWS GETS SLIGHTED IN MADDEN RATINGS

One of the Raven's newest acquisitions comes in at No. 1 on the roster -- Calais Campbell. 

Campbell pulled in a 95 overall putting him tied at No. 7 among the league's pass rushers. Campbell was a 92 overall last year during his final season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but obviously he's gotten better, 

Take a look at the best-rated players at each position on the roster below.

QB: Jackson (94), Robert Griffin III (66) RB: Ingram (86), Gus Edwards (77)

WR: Marquise Brown (80), Willie Snead IV (78) TE: Mark Andrews (86)

LT: Ronnie Stanley (93) LG: Bradley Bozeman (71) C: Matt Skura (73) RG: D.J. Fluker (80) RT: Orlando Brown Jr. (83)

LE: Derek Wolfe (79) DT: Brandon Williams (86) RE: Cambell (95)

LOLB: Matthew Judon (83) MLB: Patrick Queen (72) ROLB: Pernell McPhee (78)

CB: Marlon Humphrey (89), Marcus Peters (85) FS: Earl Thomas III (88) SS: Chuck Clark (77)

K: Justin Tucker (87) P: Sam Koch (84)

Full ratings can be found here.

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Robert Griffin III tweets that there will be no NFL preseason

Robert Griffin III tweets that there will be no NFL preseason

Last Thursday, the NFLPA's board of representatives came to a unanimous decision that the entire 2020 NFL preseason should be canceled. In a memo obtained by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the union recommended eliminating the preseason as a way to avoid injuries as well as greater health risks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even with the players united on that front, it's unclear what the final decision will be in terms of the preseason. However, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III is hearing that what the NFLPA voted for is going to come to fruition.

Whether or not the preseason should be played is a debatable topic for many. For Griffin, he believes the reasoning for canceling the games that don't officially count comes down to one essential factor: the health of the players.

RELATED: NFLPA VOTES TO ELIMINATE PRESEASON

While preseason games still bring in money for teams and the league, the quarterback doesn't see that as a reward big enough to ignore the risk of putting players in a situation that could compromise their safety.

The NFL had recently announced that it would be cutting down the preseason to only two games, but it now looks like even further reductions could be made. As for the status of the 2020 regular season, Griffin knows just about as much as everybody else.

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