FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

If You Hate Cam Newton, It’s Probably Because He’s Black

by

shutterstock_90530782

Awful Announcing recently compiled a list of what sports writers and fans said about Cam Newton when he came into the NFL in 2011. Unsurprisingly, almost all of the analysis was grounded in a white supremacist understanding of black masculinity. Consider the following from NFL Network’s Mike Lombardi:

“What worries me about Cam Newton is: is he a person who is going to work hard? Will he be dedicated? Is the money going to spoil him?”

This quote is racially coded language centered in questions about Cam’s character. It essentially calls him lazy. Consider this quote from USA Today in a similar vein:

“Very disingenuous — has a fake smile, comes off as very scripted and has a selfish, me-first makeup. Always knows where the cameras are and plays to them. Has an enormous ego with a sense of entitlement that continually invites trouble and makes him believe he is above the law — does not command respect from teammates and will always struggle to win a locker room . . . Lacks accountability, focus and trustworthiness — is not punctual, seeks shortcuts and sets a bad example. Immature and has had issues with authority. Not dependable.”

The most baffling assessment comes from the beloved Mel Kiper, Jr. He said:

“We know he loves to play the game of football, but this isn’t the NBA.”

I have no idea what that means, but I can assure you that few quarterbacks have had to contend with the levels of hateration that Newton has had to endure. And yet, despite all this, Cam Newton stood strong. He is the 2015-2016 NFL MVP. He has had an amazing season. He single handedly made the Carolina Panthers offense Super Bowl worthy—and although he did not achieve his goal, I am still in awe of all he has accomplished.

After the Super Bowl, Cam Newton, understandably dejected, was emotional and uninterested in answering questions from the media. This drew the ire of many who were looking for an excuse to attack Newton’s character. Bill Romanaski, former Bronco, jumped at that chance by tweeting:

You’ll never last in the NFL with that attitude. The world doesn’t revolve around you, boy! #CamNewton”

To be sure, Cam could have performed with a bit more professionalism in his post-game interview. I would have liked to see him walk out with his head held high, but he had just lost the Super Bowl. It was the nadir of his professional career. I would have probably reacted in a similar way—especially after having to endure dimwitted questions all week from white journalists both attracted and repelled by my blackness. I, too, may have stormed out after my mandatory three minutes were up if I was forced to be interviewed in the same room with an opponent. I will not hold Newton to a standard that I, myself, cannot achieve.

Yet, the racism in the response from Romanowski is hardly concealed. To call a grown man ‘boy.’ Is something that would not be said to Bill Belichik—a man notorious for being terse in interviews. No one called Peyton Manning ‘boy’ when he ran off the field and refused to shake hands with opponents after losing Super Bowl XLIV. No, they said Manning was just deeply competitive:

Apparently some think this is a sign of poor sportsmanship from the NFL’s greatest player. It’s not. Walking off the field without congratulating Drew Brees may go against our misguided notion of what sportsmanship should be, but it wasn’t at all disrespectful or bitter. It shows how much Peyton Manning wanted to win the game. And who can argue about that?

The amount of vitriol, the depths of covert racism, which Newton has had to endure is unconscionable; the double standard is staggering. Nothing he does will be, or is ever, enough for those looking for something to criticize—and, let’s just be honest, they are overly critical for no reason other than the fact that he is black.

Additional Super Bowl Notes:

* Defense truly wins championships—and Peyton Manning is a quarterback that’s won two national championships while performing mediocre in both.

* Beyoncé is the true winner of the Super Bowl. America’s biggest pop star used America’s biggest stage to pay homage to an American socialist/communist, revolutionary, Black Nationalist organization—all while amassing incredible capitalistic gain. Beyoncé is the true MVP.

Lawrence Ware is a professor of philosophy and diversity coordinator for Oklahoma State University’s Ethics Center. He can be reached at:  Law.writes@gmail.com.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

February 20, 2017
Bruce E. Levine
Humiliation Porn: Trump’s Gift to His Faithful…and Now the Blowback
Melvin Goodman
“Wag the Dog,” Revisited
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima: a Lurking Global Catastrophe?
David Smith-Ferri
Resistance and Resolve in Russia: Memorial HRC
Kenneth Surin
Global India?
Norman Pollack
Fascistization Crashing Down: Driving the Cleaver into Social Welfare
Patrick Cockburn
Trump v. the Media: a Fight to the Death
Susan Babbitt
Shooting Arrows at Heaven: Why is There Debate About Battle Imagery in Health?
Matt Peppe
New York Times Openly Promotes Formal Apartheid Regime By Israel
David Swanson
Understanding Robert E. Lee Supporters
Michael Brenner
The Narcissism of Donald Trump
Martin Billheimer
Capital of Pain
Thomas Knapp
Florida’s Shenanigans Make a Great Case for (Re-)Separation of Ballot and State
Jordan Flaherty
Best Films of 2016: Black Excellence Versus White Mediocrity
Weekend Edition
February 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
David Price
Rogue Elephant Rising: The CIA as Kingslayer
Matthew Stevenson
Is Trump the Worst President Ever?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Flynn?
John Wight
Brexit and Trump: Why Right is Not the New Left
Diana Johnstone
France: Another Ghastly Presidential Election Campaign; the Deep State Rises to the Surface
Neve Gordon
Trump’s One-State Option
Roger Harris
Emperor Trump Has No Clothes: Time to Organize!
Joan Roelofs
What Else is Wrong with Globalization
Andrew Levine
Why Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban?
Mike Whitney
Blood in the Water: the Trump Revolution Ends in a Whimper
Vijay Prashad
Trump, Turmoil and Resistance
Ron Jacobs
U.S. Imperial War Personified
David Swanson
Can the Climate Survive Adherence to War and Partisanship?
Andre Vltchek
Governor of Jakarta: Get Re-elected or Die!
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Destruction of Mosul
Norman Pollack
Self-Devouring Reaction: Governmental Impasse
Steve Horn
What Do a Louisiana Pipeline Explosion and Dakota Access Pipeline Have in Common? Phillips 66
Brian Saady
Why Corporations are Too Big to Jail in the Drug War
Graham Peebles
Ethiopia: Peaceful Protest to Armed Uprising
Luke Meyer
The Case of Tony: Inside a Lifer Hearing
Binoy Kampmark
Adolf, The Donald and History
Robert Koehler
The Great American Awakening
Murray Dobbin
Canadians at Odds With Their Government on Israel
Fariborz Saremi
A Whole New World?
Joyce Nelson
Japan’s Abe, Trump & Illegal Leaks
Christopher Brauchli
Trump 1, Tillerson 0
Yves Engler
Is This Hate Speech?
Dan Bacher
Trump Administration Exempts Three CA Oil Fields From Water Protection Rule at Jerry Brown’s Request
Richard Klin
Solid Gold
Melissa Garriga
Anti-Abortion and Anti-Fascist Movements: More in Common Than Meets the Eye
Thomas Knapp
The Absurd Consequences of a “Right to Privacy”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail