Mondesire opens his mouth — again

By Peter Mucha
Updated: September 22, 2010

J. Whyatt Mondesire (center), president of the Philadelphia NAACP, has kind words for Michael Vick (left), harsh ones for Donovan McNabb, who was traded to Washington in the off-season.

J. Whyatt Mondesire (center), president of the Philadelphia NAACP, has kind words for Michael Vick (left), harsh ones for Donovan McNabb, who was traded to Washington in the off-season.

PHILADELPHIA — Casting judgments on Eagles quarterbacks is familiar territory for J.

Whyatt Mondesire, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP.

In 2005, he caused a bit of a firestorm by blistering Donovan McNabb as a “mediocre talent” who “played the race card” and was “hiding behind excuses.”

“You choked, brother” and “You scammed us, man,” Mondesire also wrote in a column in his newspaper, the Philadelphia Sun, after the Eagles lost the Super Bowl.

Now he’s still ripping McNabb, but praising Michael Vick, who led the Eagles to a 35-32 victory Sunday over the Detroit Lions.

“That’s my boy,” Mondesire said Monday. “He knows how to win. The other guy couldn’t even win down there in D.C. last night.”

McNabb threw for 426 yards Sunday, but his Washington Redskins lost in overtime to the Houston Texans.

“I said all that has to be said about that turkey a long time ago,” Mondesire added.

Vick is the better quarterback, the former Inquirer reporter said. “He wants to win and he’s not afraid to use all of his assets to win.”

In 2005, Mondesire took particular issue with McNabb’s reluctance to run, writing that “make-believe racial stereotypes” were no excuse.

McNabb fired right back. “If you talk about my play, that’s one thing. When you talk about my race, now we’ve got problems,” he said. “. . . I always thought the NAACP supported African-Americans and didn’t talk bad about them. Now you learn a little bit more about it.”

Mondesire, who stated then he was speaking for his paper and not the civil-rights group, hasn’t changed his mind.

“The history of McNabb has proved which one of us was more accurate about his play,” he said Monday.

Not that he defended Vick’s off-the-field conduct.

“Anyone who committed a heinous crime like Michael Vick will never be able to escape that legacy,” he said. “He’s got a long way to go.”

But he has seen Vick speak to young people all over the city about dog-fighting and other issues, including at the NAACP, Mondesire said.

In August last year, Mondesire demonstrated with a dozen or so Vick supporters at Lincoln Financial Field, but despite media-hyped fears, no clash occurred with protesting animal-lovers protestors, who also turned out in low numbers.