Why Cam Newton’s Quote is Really Just a Non-Story
Coming one week earlier than expected, the NFL media have blown up a non-story much like they will all next week as the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos prepare for Super Bowl 50.
During an interview Wednesday, Panthers QB Cam Newton said he doesn’t plan to change who he is or what he says in his preparation for the NFL championship game. The inference was that critics will continue to call him immature and moody, with a much bigger spotlight over the next two weeks.
"I've said this since day one. 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.'' – Cam Newton
The fact he pointed out his ethnicity is supposed to raise eyebrows, forcing white America to react – to what, I’m not really sure.
What Newton said didn’t change anyone’s opinion about him, and it shouldn’t have. He’s a talented, confident young man that happens to be black and happens to play quarterback for a Super Bowl-caliber offense in the NFL.
Why this quote has blown up into a national story, landing among the top headlines on ESPN Wednesday, is really beyond me. I think it’s the mere fact he brought up his ethnicity made everyone feel they had to react to it.
If it were Sam Bradford in the Super Bowl (I know, I know, just follow along with me on this one), and he said that as a quarterback that is an official citizen of the Cherokee Nation, he might scare a lot of people because no one has seen that before, would it be a story? Probably, but not in the same way Newton's story has hit.
Newton has made some poor decisions in his past, but nothing that’s unforgivable by any stretch. And when you have quarterbacks like Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Vick and Jameis Winston playing, you realize QBs make mistakes just like everyone else. Many of their mistakes could even be considered unforgivable, of course.
Sure, Newton might be moody and he might react to things on the field or in the locker room different than most players. But you can’t swing a Johnny Football without hitting players that react different than how we would expect them to.
I still consider this a complete non-story, although, the mere fact that I’m writing this makes me look like a hypocrite. In reality, my post is making more note of the fact that the media’s reaction to his quotes are more ridiculous than his actual quote.
Cam Newton Photo Credit: Don Juan Moore, Getty Images
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