Cam Newton...What Are You Doing?
“I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing they can compare me to.” – Cam Newton (January 2016)
“I don’t want this to be about race because it’s not. It’s not. We’re beyond this as a nation.” - Cam Newton (August 2016)
“It’s not racism. Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion” – Cam Newton (August 2016)
“We’re all the same color” - Cam Newton (September 2016)
Where to begin? Let’s just get this out of the way. Cam Newton isn’t the brightest individual on Earth. One quick google search will find you a litany of idiotic quotes such as:
“We’re not gonna let the cat out the hat!”
“Our morals are high!”
“You can probably ink it in gold!”
“The monotnism (yo what the fuck is monotnism?) of life can get old!”
“We’re not playing ballet!”
“This hot streak that we’re on right now, nobody wants to come down from it.”
I’m not a person who really thrives on hearing celebrities speak on issues. I have my reasons for it. Some of them aren’t going to say what they really feel for brand reason, some of them aren’t the type of people who are built to speak about serious issues and be taken seriously, and then some are both.
I think Newton falls into both categories. He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, he clearly is brand conscious and I think the owner of the team is in his ear as well. I’m speaking about the same owner who told him not to get any tattoos or piercings.
Newton went from “I’m a black QB and that scares people” to “We’re all the same color in seven months”. That can’t possibly be all him. That’s not to absolve him from the shameless shucking and jiving that he’s been doing for a couple of months now but I do think Jerry Richardson is a part of it.
I used to like Cam Newton. I used to enjoy the showboating. I still enjoy how he plays the game, but I also felt like he was relatable. He was a breath of fresh air in a world full of boring, contrived athletes who are all about their “brand” and have no real authenticity to offer. Well, as it turns out, Newton is one of those athletes who is brand conscious and fake and it’s rather disappointing. And I was wrong as fuck about him.
I understand not wanting shit to get hot at your workplace, especially when talking into a microphone (and not being good at it) is a big part of your job. I’m not pressed about guys who would rather just not comment rather than bringing a burden onto themselves that they might not want to handle. If he speaks on it, he’s going to have to talk about it every damn day. Newton giving a hearty “no comment” would’ve been completely fine by me. Cam Newton isn’t the guy I want speaking for me, you, or anyone else anyway. The idea that you should speak about race just because you are a prominent figure isn’t something I can get behind. Using your forum to effectively speak about race requires a level of nuance, understanding, knowledge and awareness that I’m pretty sure Cam Newton doesn’t possess. The problem is that Newton took on the topic in his own stupid, silly ass way.
Newton didn’t have to comment either of the last two times he did but he said something ridiculously stupid both times. “We are beyond racism as a nation” is a really stupid quote. If you come to the conclusion that the nation is “beyond racism”, I can only conclude that you don’t read. A statement like that is not only incorrect but it’s destructive. The people who hate Cam Newton aren’t going to love him because of these quotes. Those people who called him a thug when he was showboating aren’t going to love him because of these quotes. Those who called him a nigger because he dared be happy on the football field aren’t going to love him because of these quotes. So not only has Newton said stupid things about race relations twice in the last month, he is pandering to a group of people who isn’t going to like him REGARDLESS.
Was there “no color” when the incessant Newton/Jamarcus Russell/Vince Young comparisons wouldn’t stop. Throughout his MVP campaign, all of the race driven code nonsense was going on, was there “no color”? Was there “no color” when he claimed we fear a black QB because we’ve seen nothing like him before?
I don’t need Cam Newton to speak for me or for anyone else. That said, the bullshit that can come out of his mouth can be damaging and it serves nobody well except the people out here calling him a “thug” amongst other things.
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." - Abraham Lincoln.
Remember. It’s never a problem to shut the whole entire fuck up.