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The Cam Newton Quotes Remind NFL Fans There’s Work to Do

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The two weeks leading up to Super Bowl Sunday can be dangerous. Every press availability is a chance for players to make national headlines. Well, It just happened again. Charlotte Observer’s Jonathan Jones January 27 Inside the Panthers column analyzes why Cam Newtown is the subject of so much hate. The Cam Newton quotes for the column about race and the hate he encounters bring up those dormant fears and stereotypes about Black quarterbacks. On Wednesday, Newtown said, “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….” Commissioner Goodell could read these Cam Newton quotes and get upset. But before someone says ‘why is he bringing up the race card’ let’s take a look at the sentiments Newtown’s comments ignite.

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The NFL is Color Blind. Why Bring Up Race?

Like it or not, race plays a huge part in professional football. Nearly all of the 32 NFL owners are Caucasian and more than two thirds (68 percent) of NFL players are Black. When the racial disparity between players and owners is that stark, a feeling of discrimination can follow.

Here are some facts. If the Panthers win the Super Bowl, Newton becomes only the third Black QB in league history to a championship. Third. NFL Hall of Fame QB Warren Moon went undrafted. Moon had to dominate the Canadian Football League for five years to convince teams he could run an offense. At 27, Moon was signed to the largest free-agent contract (at the time) given to a quarterback.

Oklahoma Sooner Jason White is the only white, Heisman award-winning QB not drafted to the NFL. Charlie Ward, a 6’2 Heisman award-winning QB for FSU couldn’t even get an invite to an NFL combine. Talent evaluators were convinced Ward was too short and lacked arm strength. Right. We suppose Doug Flutie, Drew Brees, and Johnny Manziel are giants. Chad Pennington, Andy Dalton, and Alex Smith can’t throw a football through a paper bag.

Cam Newton Celebrates Too Much

Sorry, white folks, the statement is racism in disguise. Would NFL purists feel better if all quarterbacks kept quiet and didn’t call too much attention to themselves? The sentiment is a slippery slope. It implies Black quarterbacks are acceptable if they aren’t too demonstrative. Newton and celebrations, such as dabbing when he scores a touchdown, are not directed at the opposition. He celebrates with the fans and his teammates. Who does this really hurt?

Newtown Should Be More Team Oriented, like Staubach or Montana

We hate to disappoint you, great QBs are typically divas. Joe Namath wore a mink on the sidelines. Ken Stabler, need we say more. Brett Favre, how many times can one man retire and make comebacks. Aaron Rodgers does commercials for State Farm Insurance and flashed his discount double-check how many times during a game? White quarterbacks aren’t criticized for making themselves the center of attention. They are celebrated.

But back to Cam Newton. Were his quotes shocking? Sure, but his comments have merit. He makes narrow-minded sports fans uncomfortable. Does that mean they’re racist? Maybe, but Newton’s success forces us to look deeper into that mirror and determine how we really feel about racial divisions in sports.

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