In about ten days, the biggest event of the sports year will take place in San Francisco, the Super Bowl. This one is even more special, it’s the 50th anniversary and that means all of the big-time NFL’ers, current and former, will be in attendance. That being said, there’s an interesting side note to this event, and it circles around Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
Newton, to me at least, is one of the most exciting athletes in not just football, but all of professional sports. He’s excellent at what he does, he has fun, and he doesn’t hold anything back. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who have an issue with that.
Rosemary Plorin is a great example. She’s from Nashville and is a fan of the Tennessee Titans organization. Earlier this season, Newton and the Panthers made a trip to Nashville to play the Titans. Carolina won, and it wasn’t even close. After a late touchdown, with the game pretty much decided, Newton ran for a score and did one of his dances, standard for any player after a score.
Plorin was there and after the game wrote a letter to the superstar, saying at the end of the lengthy letter, “I don’t know about your family life Mr. Newton, but I think I’m safe in saying thousands of kids watch you every week. You have amazing talent and an incredible platform to be a role model for them. Unfortunately, what you modeled for them today was egotism, arrogance, and poor sportsmanship.”
Let’s fast forward to earlier in January when the Panthers knocked off the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL’s postseason. After the game, while Newton was running around the field and high-fiving Panther fans, a Seahawks fan decided to shove one of those obnoxious looking “12th man” flags in Newton’s face. Just like I would have, Newton took the flag and threw it towards the field. Whatever, no different than the Patriots stomping on the Chargers’ logo after beating them in 2006.
Long story short, Newton received another letter, this one calling him “Mr. Classless” among other things. Oh, and Seahawk fans have now started a petition to ban him from playing football games in the city moving forward.
This is a guy who has also received letters for being an unwed father, in fact he was called “not man enough to marry the mother of his children”. The mother, not that it matters, is his longtime girlfriend. He’s been called classless for taking photos with his teammates on the sidelines and been bashed for how he speaks with the media after games, it’s absurd.
See, I have a massive problem with this. Tom Brady was an unwed father too but he never received letters bashing him and being told that fans “are very sorry and disappointed in him.”
My issue here is that people are putting Cam Newton in a different lens and it has to do with race. I understand that is a big jump to make, but at the same time I really believe it is a problem here. Richard Sherman went through the same thing three years ago, and unfortunately someone else will go through it a few years down the road.
One of the biggest debates in football for years, and probably one of the dumbest, has been “Can a team win with a black quarterback?” Well, Cam Newton is proving that the answer is a resounding yes. Unfortunately, some people cannot handle that and are holding him to insane expectations. Every little move that this guy does is looked at and has questions asked about it.
If we don’t write letters to Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, or Aaron Rodgers saying this stuff, than we shouldn’t write them to Cam, or anyone for that matter.
I’m sure you’ll hear more about this in the next week and a half, although I’d prefer this wasn’t an issue. Unfortunately it is, and I’ll be rooting for Cam Newton to shut some people up ten days from now in San Francisco.
Keep pounding Cam, and keep doing you. This football fan is certainly in your corner.