So You Think You Can Dance? Mom Rips Cam Newton End Zone Celebration In Open Letter
So Cam Newton scored a touchdown against the Titans on Sunday and celebrated the way you might expect: with an end zone dance that was in itself a pretty great athletic achievement. It really was (insert 20-something phrase here), which you could tell because it pissed off some of the Titans players. There was some brief shoving and jawing, the refs stepped in and the game continued, the Earth rotated and everyone went on with their lives.
Well, everyone except for Titans fan Rosemary Plorin of Nashville, who attended the game with her nine-year-old daughter. She was so aghast that she wrote an open letter to to the Charlotte Observer. An excerpt:
Because of where we sat, we had a close up view of your conduct in the fourth quarter. The chest puffs. The pelvic thrusts. The arrogant struts and the ‘in your face’ taunting of both the Titans’ players and fans. We saw it all.
I refuse to believe you don’t realize you are a role model. You are paid millions of dollars every week to play hard and be a leader. In the off season you’re expected to make appearances, support charities, and inspire young kids to pursue your sport and all sports. With everything the NFL has gone through in recent years, I’m confident they have advised that you are, by virtue of your position and career choice, a role model.
And because you are a role model, your behavior brought out like behavior in the stands. Some of the Panthers fans in our section began taunting the hometown fans. Many Titans fans booed you, a few offering instructive, but not necessarily family friendly, suggestions as to how you might change your behavior.
My daughter sensed the change immediately – and started asking questions. Won’t he get in trouble for doing that? Is he trying to make people mad? Do you think he knows he looks like a spoiled brat? ...
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.
Is that what your coaches and mentors modeled for you, Mr. Newton?
I'm a big fan of players who get to the end zone and act like they've been there before -- just flipping the ball to the ref is the best TD celebration anyone can perform. But that's just my opinion. Who am I to tell Cam Newton how to behave? If he wants to dance, he's earned that right by being good at his job. If the Titans don't want to see it, they should keep him out of the end zone.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) November 15, 2015
It's true that in many cases NFL games have become a morass of trash talking and intimidation: I kind of hate it when I see players getting in each other's faces after every play. It gets old. And I can see why parents wouldn't want to expose their kids to that.
But in this case, Newton's dancing is the least offensive thing I've seen all week, and that includes The Peanuts Movie. Really, 20th Century Fox? Charlie Brown still has a pen pal? You do know that this is 2015, right? Why not have him get lost in a cave with the little red-haired girl while being chased by Injun' Joe?
But this woman was offended, because she had to explain the dancing to her child. Louis C.K. has a great bit about homophobia that speaks to the same sort of thing:
"Like when a woman stands up on a talk show and says, 'How am I supposed to explain to my child that two men are getting married?' I don't know, it's your shitty kid, why don't you fucking tell him? Why is that anyone else's problem? Two men are in love but they can't get married because you don't want to talk to your ugly child for five fucking minutes?"
Saying that Newton should "be a role model" to her kid is really code for "you should represent my values and belief system." Sorry, but he shouldn't have to do that -- because, what if some of your values and beliefs are total shit? Like, how it seems to offend you when a black guy dances at a sporting event (let's be honest here).
So instead of attending a football game, perhaps you might think of other activities for your daughter? Like maybe getting her a pen pal?
SportsGrid managing editor Jake O'Donnell shares this from his own mom:
My mom's response to other mom who couldn't explain Cam Newton's TD dance to her kid, uses quotes for some reason: pic.twitter.com/ukdYwCcHp3
— Jake O'Donnell (@_JakeODonnell) November 17, 2015
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