The Chicago Bears selected Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. When asked about why they liked Brisker, Bears national scout Chris Prescott described the player as “poor, hungry, and desperate,” according to ESPN Bears reporter Courtney Cronin.
Bears National scout Chris Prescott on Jaquan Brisker: "He’s a – what would we call it? – Ph.D? Poor, hungry and desperate. Football is his life. This is this kid’s life. There’s a lot to like about that when you see a guy who’s so passionate about football."
— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) April 30, 2022
“He’s a — what would we call it? Ph.D.? Poor, hungry, and desperate,” Prescott said. “Football is his life. This is this kid’s life. There’s a lot to like about that when you see a guy who’s so passionate about football.”
While he certainly seemed to think he was praising Prescott, the comments faced harsh criticism for their demeaning quality and flippant commodification of a human being. ESPN’s Mina Kimes had the most prominent criticism of the comments, which she said reduced “his story to a draft attribute.”
When we reduce black prospects’ stories of adversity to traits like 40 times, we reduce them as human beings.
Some thoughts on the comments from a Bears scout on Jaquan Brisker this weekend, and a problem that continues to persist in draft commentary: pic.twitter.com/zQSCVhp5L9
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) May 2, 2022
Now, perhaps because of those comments or perhaps coincidentally, Prescott is no longer employed by the Bears.
Chris Prescott, who helped the #Bears make two playoff appearances during his seven years with the team, is no longer a national scout in Chicago. Chris has also served w/the #Jets & #Jaguars since entering the league in '03.
— Neil Stratton (@InsideTheLeague) May 1, 2022
Prescott isn’t the only member of the scouting department to lose his job as the team also dismissed college scouting director Mark Sadowski, who had been with the franchise since 2005 and held that position since 2016.
Scouting coordinator Bobby Macedo was also let go as part of the shakeup by general manager Ryan Poles.
It’s hard to imagine the comments and the way they reflected on the Bears organization didn’t have something to do with the personnel changes. But Chicago also seemed pleased, at least publicly, with their draft picks.
Whatever the reason, the move certainly got a lot of people talking on social media when it came to Prescott’s comments, the criticism they received, and whether or not he deserved to lose his job over it.
the tension with this kind of mindset from that scout is even more worrisome in some ways inside CFB. https://t.co/dQYmhxi8k7
— Mike Golic Jr (@mikegolicjr) May 3, 2022
I must admit there was so much flurry #NFLDraft weekend you skim over some quotes but when I saw @CourtneyRCronin tweet with the #chicagoBears National scout quote it did stop me and raise an eyebrow — saying Brisker is a “P.H.D.” … https://t.co/CI4NZOUGxc
— Peggy Kusinski (@peggykusinski) May 3, 2022
Part of the issue stems from the lack of diversity within the rooms. Without different voices and perspectives, empathy is lost.. We’ve seen countless examples illustrating the disconnect. Until there is more representation in these areas (FO/media), these missteps will continue https://t.co/0b29aStwMd
— Bucky Brooks (@BuckyBrooks) May 3, 2022
We can all do better. Don’t get defensive, don’t cape for people in positions of power, just think about how to change the way we have these discussions. https://t.co/CcdfeyUaMQ
— marshall newhouse (@MNewhouse73) May 2, 2022
— Kevin Negandhi (@KevinNegandhi) May 2, 2022