Aside from the fact that Owens’s reply to Graham Bensinger’s question about the Eagles being undefeated with Brett Favre was taken completely out of context, and was actually not intended as a shot at McNabb at all, it’s funny to note how McNabb said that what actually bothered him about what he thought Owens said was the race of the other quarterback being named.
“In that situation, it was kinda like, ‘That’s unreal.’ That’s just like me saying, ‘If we had Steve Largent, if we had Joe Jurevicius, we’d be undefeated. He’ll now have to answer the question for the whole week about me saying it.”
McNabb’s selection of two white receivers was not by accident. He took Owens’ choice of Favre as disrespectful to McNabb as an African-American quarterback.
“It was definitely a slap in the face to me. Because as deep as people won’t go into it, it was [a] black-on-black crime. I mean, you have a guy that has been criticized just about all his career and now the last criticism is that I’m selling out because I don’t run anymore, by an African-American [J. Whyatt Mondesire, the NAACP chapter president who ripped McNabb in a column that appeared in the Philadelphia Sun].
“And to say if we had Brett Favre, that could mean that if you had another quarterback of a different descent or ethnic background, we could be winning. That’s something I thought about and said, ‘Wow.’ It’s different to say if we had Michael Vick, Daunte Culpepper, Steve McNair, Aaron Brooks, Byron Leftwich. But to go straight to Brett Favre, that slapped me in the face, like what I’ve done and what I set out to do”
Of course, it wasn’t even Owens who chose Brett Favre as the potential replacement; it was Michael Irvin. And then Bensinger asked Owens about Irvin’s statement.
But here’s Donovan McNabb himself saying that what bothered him about the statement was that Favre is white. He then gave examples of quarterbacks he would have been more OK with being mentioned as replacements in the hypothetical scenario Owens was asked about: Black quarterbacks.
So while media and fans alike go on about why the thing Owens didn’t say in the way the media claimed was so hurtful to McNabb, McNabb himself doesn’t even view it that way. McNabb was upset because McNabb is racist, and assumes that racism is the only reason anyone could ever think a white quarterback is better than him.
Also, the fact that this ESPN article refers to it as “Owens’s choice of Favre” tells you everything you need to know about fact checking in sports media.