Live to a higher standard: black

Why do you think I’m doing this?’ ” he told me. “I’m like, ‘I don’t know—you hate football players?’ She goes, ‘We’re black, right? You have to be three times as good, so if I let you off the hook you’ll never get to where you want to be.’ ”

.. Outside California, black quarterbacks were still a rarity, and Clarkson bristled at the implicit assumption among N.F.L. scouts that he was just an athlete, not a field general. “I went to a lot of workouts where guys said, ‘Well, can you play safety?’ ” he said. “I’m like, ‘I haven’t played safety in my life.’ ” He dogged it in the forty-yard dash, on purpose. “I was capable of running, probably, a high 4.5, but I ended up running something like a 4.85, so they knew I wasn’t going to be fast enough to play outside the ball,” he said. 

.. Clarkson wound up in Saskatchewan, playing in the Canadian Football League, much the way another Los Angeles native, Warren Moon, who would become the first black Hall of Fame quarterback, had been forced to do. 

..  He was explaining why he planned to hold back his thirteen-year-old son, Connor, “a straight-A student,” having long ago missed the opportunity to postpone, like a good Park Slope parent, the start of kindergarten.