Trey Ford could have gained the HEC Cretan, Canada’s highest particular person honor in varsity soccer, however the battle has solely simply begun.
Ford will attempt to show himself on knowledgeable stage—a tough feat for any quarterback, however as an individual of shade, he has extra hoops to leap than lots of his counterparts.
As a black quarterback, Ford has all the time needed to combat for what he deserves. Too typically, black quarterbacks are sometimes given the tag of ‘athlete’ after they can do a couple of job effectively. Black quarterbacks who can each run and throw soccer are sometimes pigeonholed right into a seemingly innocuous label of ‘athlete’.
Whereas on its floor, being referred to as an ‘athlete’ seems like a great factor, however as with the broader society, for a few years, it has been an excuse to perpetuate double requirements.
“Clearly I am black and I am additionally very quick, so folks label me as an athlete and suppose, ‘He can flip round and play one other place,'” Ford stated. “I actually imagine that I’m the quarterback and I really feel like if a workforce provides me a shot, they’ll see that I’m the quarterback, not only a receiver and an athlete.”
Ford confirmed why he is not simply an athlete final season because the pivot of Waterloo. The fifth-year student-athlete was awarded U SPORTS Soccer’s MVP in 2021 after averaging 252 yards per sport.
Ford turned the primary fighter in this system’s historical past to win the award, and an essential a part of his sport is his capability to grapple on the bottom and raise massive yards. As a double menace, Ford is more likely to throw fifty-yard bombs at opposing numbers or torches the protection along with his toes.
In 2021, the leisure and leisure main was additionally third within the nation in regular-season speeding yards with 629, greater than 100 yards per sport as a quarterback.
Ford’s achievements have made him a trailblazer, making historical past for the College of Waterloo, however extra importantly, Ford turned the primary black quarterback to be awarded the HEC Creighton Trophy.
“I positively wish to see some extra black quarterbacks on the varsity stage and get an opportunity at U Sports activities,” Ford stated. “There have been instances once I was taking part in again in highschool the place although I used to be doing higher than the quarterback, he was being recruited because the quarterback and he stated ‘Trey is unquestionably going to take the subsequent stage. The receiver could play’, or ‘he could run again and play’.
Black quarterbacks take care of elevated criticism within the quarterback place. It’s typically questioned whether or not or not they will make large throws, or if they’ll rely solely on their athleticism and melee.
One motive Ford selected Waterloo was as a result of he was supported as a quarterback, not being typecast to be a receiver due to his pace, as was the case with some high-profile occasions.
“Some colleges talked to me about relocating, however I used to be fortunate that Burtt gave me a chance,” Ford stated.
Fortuitously for Ford, he had a supporting forged of coaches who gave him the chance to achieve management positions.
“We have not even as soon as referred to Trey as an athlete,” Waterloo head coach Chris Bertoia stated. “We knew he was the quarterback. I instructed him he could be the quarterback for us, and he and Tyrell (his brother) have been going to show our schedule.”
Whereas Ford’s on-field achievements have proven a semblance of societal progress, extra work stays to be executed, each on and off the sector.
Corey Grant, offensive coordinator, and newly appointed Fairness, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Lead on the College of McMaster’s Athletic Division, believes Ford’s approval for HEC Creighton is an indication of progress and an absence of inclusivity. sign. Play.
,Trey Ford is an indication of what a place we may be in for a black quarterback,” Grant stated. It is giving the children a chance and never simply pigeonholing them… Given the fitting alternative and help, they will strive in all positions and particularly the quarterback place and he is an important consultant of that. That what black and racist quarterbacks might be sooner or later. ,
Somebody ought to all the time be first. However on the similar time the query must also come up why it took so lengthy.
“It additionally exhibits that there’s a lack of that inclusion on the college stage. Hopefully, this may occasionally begin to change the minds of coaches as they’re recruiting quarterbacks. I am glad that when Trey was admitted he stated: ‘No, I do not wish to play second place, I am the quarterback.’ He’s now setting the desk for everybody. ,
Though Ford has proven what may be executed with the fitting help, Grant’s distinctive place as an authority on the sector and as a liaison for help and inclusivity inside the group provides him a voice to talk up for these in want. which have been beforehand unheard.
“We want somebody to talk up and help our racial student-athletes, but in addition a voice that individuals will hearken to,” stated Grant, two-time Grey Cup champion. “They want somebody to go to, somebody who’s of their nook, somebody who appears to be like like them, and somebody they have been by means of.”
Ford was given an opportunity and he took full benefit of it.
However the work doesn’t finish right here.
In line with Grant it’s now extra essential than ever to usher in completely different views.
“If we all the time have the identical voices and views in our teaching rooms, we’re going to be steady. With extra ladies and extra variety in these locker rooms, we’ll assist these younger folks perceive the best way to relate to completely different swimming pools of people and turn out to be higher leaders of tomorrow.”
Grant will be part of the Vanier Cup broadcast at halftime to debate extra about inclusivity with U SPORTS Soccer.
The Scotiabank Vanier Cup, offered by Levio between the Saskatchewan Huskies and the Western Mustangs, is broadcast dwell CBC TV. Additionally accessible on-line by way of broadcast cbcssports.ca And CBC Gem, and the CBC Sports activities app. will probably be accessible on the french broadcast TVSports.