White quarterback says he doesn’t think it’s his job to mentor Black draft pick

White quarterback says he doesn't think it's his job to mentor Black draft pick
The Tennessee Titans select Liberty quarterback Malik Willis in the 2022 NFL Draft. (Photo credit: Rashad Milligan for rolling out)

Mentorship is key to success in any field in life.

It’s a spiritual and practical theory that humans need other humans to survive and thrive> Whether up close or from afar positive human relationships are critical in all walks of life, especially for young people looking for guidance early in their journeys.

But Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, 33, wants no parts of being a mentor to his new teammate Malik Willis, 22.

“We’re competing against each other,” Tannehill said. “We’re watching the same tape, we’re doing the same drills. I don’t think it’s my job to mentor him, but if he learns from me along the way, then that’s a great thing.”

Tannehill’s way of thinking isn’t groundbreaking or limited to race, either. Back when the Green Bay Packers selected Aaron Rodgers in 2005, then-starter Brett Favre kept his distance from his eventual successor. Both of the aforementioned Packer quarterbacks are White.

“I don’t know where the present starter, like myself in that case, is paid to be a mentor, so to speak, or if that’s a part of the job description,” Favre said in an interview with Graham Bensinger. “Maybe there’s a misconception. I don’t owe him or anyone else anything, in my opinion [than] being a nice guy and being thoughtful. But I don’t need to give him any insight of what I do or don’t do.”

Favre and Tannehill’s words can come across as cold, but they are their genuine thoughts, and it may be the way more professionals than not think in their respective career fields.

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