NFL's Troy Vincent compares combine process to "slave auction"
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Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, reportedly compared the scouting combine to a “slave auction” during a league meeting last week.

That comparison upset some team owners, including Cowboys leader Jerry Jones and Falcons owner Arthur Blank, according to CBS Sports.

Vincent reportedly made the comment while informing the owners of forthcoming changes to the combine that would include a less rigorous medical evaluation process and a focus on questions teams ask of draft prospects.

Of course jerry jones has a problem when players speak up about removing certain slave auction tests etc

— Dr.J (@igobyJADEB) December 18, 2022

Blank immediately stood up and took issue with Vincent’s comments, sources in the meeting told the website. CBS wrote that Blank “took umbrage with the idea that he was either taking part in or helping to prop up an event that could be considered racist.”

That’s when Jones reportedly took the microphone and discussed the “privilege” of playing in the NFL — explaining that with the thousands of college football players out there, only about 300 get invited to the combine, adding that even fewer get drafted.

A Cowboys spokesman later said Jones didn’t say “privilege,” but instead said “opportunity,” according to CBS Sports.

“We just feel like the overall experience, talking to the players, we can be better in that particular aspect,” Vincent said. “So there was, I would say, a good discussion around what that looks like, where we could be, keeping in mind that the combine is the player’s first experience with the National Football League, and in that experience, there has to be dignity.”

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New York Post reports that earlier in the day, Vincent — who played 15 NFL seasons at cornerback — told reporters that the league is trying to be better about communicating with players.

“It’s a great opportunity for the young men, but there has to be some level of dignity and respect as they go through that process. That was the overall theme around our combine [discussion.]”

Steelers owner Art Rooney II — who is chairman of the NFL Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee — reportedly added that teams need the necessary information at the combine to make informed decisions.

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According to CBS News, the conversation was not wholly new, as the combine process has been discussed and changed over time. But the tone of this discussion hit differently.

Vincent, a former Pro Bowler player, has been with the NFL since 2014 as a leader in football operations, and he has addressed topics such as kneeling during the national anthem and coaching hiring discrepancies while serving as, in words he used in an interview with The Root, a “bridge builder” from inside the league office.

Racism is baked into the NFL combine cake

In 2006, William C. Rhoden discussed with piercing detail the antebellum practices still in effect throughout major sports leagues in his book, Forty Million Dollar Slaves.

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In the NFL, Black draftees have long spoken ill of the combine and draft process which regularly violates their human dignity.

Hailing from Charlotte North Carolina, born litterateur Ezekiel J. Walker earned a B.A. in Psychology at Winston Salem State University. Walker later published his first creative nonfiction book and has...