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Cam Newton’s Historic Blindness

28 Jan

Cam Newton is a great quarterback, and he has led the Carolina Panthers to the Superbowl. He may wind up to be one of the best ever to play the position. Only time will tell.

Along the way, there has been some media flack about his touchdown dance and other sports related bar talk. To which he has responded …

“I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to,” Newton told The Charlotte Observer yesterday (January 27). 

Uhhhh Cam…Doug Williams ring a bell? The primary storyline surrounding Super Bowl XXII was that Washington’s Doug Williams was the first African-American quarterback ever to start in a NFL league championship game, let alone a Super Bowl. He became the first player in Super Bowl history to pass for four touchdowns in a single quarter, and four in a half. Williams was the first black starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl in 1988, and the only one until Russell Wilson won Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014. Just to jog your memory, Cam…

And Russell Wilson isn’t anyone’s slouch.

And he (Williams) did that on one good leg, after being injured in the first quarter. .

They ain’t scared because you are black, Cam. And you ain’t Doug Williams…Yet. A guy who played for years on some crappy Tamp Bay Teams with mediocre receivers until he was traded to he Redskins, and lit things up with what was then one of the best receiver corps in the league. And Doug went through weekly crap about black players “not being smart enough” to play the position, and left Washington after winning the Superbowl.

The Carolina Panthers quarterback dropped hard truths during a recent interview. 

Even as he lead the Carolina Panthers on a steady march toward this year’s Super Bowl, star quarterback Cam Newton caught flack for his unapologetic self-assurance and penchant for celebratory “dabbing.” In a new interview, Newton spoke frankly about why he has gotten more scrutiny and criticism than most other NFL players.

“I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to,” Newton told The Charlotte Observer yesterday (January 27). He then added, “People are going to judge and have their own opinion on certain things that I don’t have control over, nor does anybody else.”

Newton has faced this kind of criticism from journalists, commentators and football fans alike ever since he was drafted to the Panthers in 2011—all of it focused on behavior that doesn’t draw nearly as much scrutiny for White  players. One Seattle Seahawks fan even petitioned to ban Newton from CenturyLink Field, calling him “one of the most unprofessional, unsportsmanlike individual [sic] on the face of the planet.” We need not spell out the subtext behind much of this criticism.

Besides his legions of fans, Newton has an ally in Doug Williams, who in 1988 was first Black quarterback to play in the Super Bowl. Williams won the MVP award (for which Newton is considered a front-runner) during that game after leading theWashington NFL Team to a 42-10 victory over the Denver Broncos—the same team that Newton and the Panthers will face in the 50th Super Bowl on February 7. Speaking to USA Today, Williams discussed the culture of denial surrounding criticsm of Newton:

“I’m not going to be the one who says what my thinking is, because sometimes it don’t matter what I think,” Williams said. “It ain’t going to matter what he thinks. Because at the end of the day you’ve got a lot of people denying [racism is behind the criticism of Newton], that that’s not true. Even if it’s true, they’re going to deny it.”

When Newton squares off against the Broncos’ veteran QB Peyton Manning in San Francisco, he will be only the sixth Black quarterback to start in the Super Bowl.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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