Many have come for Cam, blasting him for everything from being selfish and arrogant to being a poor sportsman and a bad role model for children. While he continues to prove the doubters wrong on the field, the hate off the field has seemed to flourish and for no apparent reason.
Selfish? He fed 900 kids on Thanksgiving. Poor sportsman and bad role model for children? He gives footballs to children after Panthers’ touchdowns. Arrogant? Don’t mistake the big smile and confidence for arrogance. But the hate keeps coming at him.
Well his supporters aren’t having it. Aside from his fans and teammates, others are coming out to form Testudo around Cam. Last week it was Doug Williams and now he’s joined by another legendary Black quarterback, Hall of Famer Warren Moon.
Moon, the first Black QB to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, let it be known that he has Cam’s back through an interview he had with Fox Sports.
“That’s the thing I don’t understand. How come they just can’t let it go?” Moon told FOX Sports. “If he hasn’t done anything (recently) that’s been against the law or anything that would cause negative publicity, isn’t out in the world doing something wrong except for just dancing after a touchdown, I mean what is the big deal? He’s worked toward maturity in the last five or six years he’s been in the league and has done positive things to erase a lot of that negative stuff from when he was 18, 19 years old. I just don’t know why people can’t let all of that stuff go.
You’d think he raped like five pastors’ daughters over the last five years and he’s getting away with it the way people are talking about him.”
Cam set it off last week when he stated at a press conference “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.
He’s received backlash from his comments, most saying that race has nothing to do with why he’s hated. Maybe it’s the alleged big “fake smile”, one that lights up post-game press conferences, that people mistake for arrogance.
“I had an argument the other day about how people say he doesn’t show class and he smiles too much. I’m thinking to myself, ‘Shouldn’t you enjoy playing football?'” former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb said to Fox Sports. “Nobody says anything when J.J. Watt starts to do the Nae Nae or when Aaron Rodgers Discount Double-Checks or Philip Rivers is barking at the opposing sideline. I love the excitement (Newton) brings to the game.”
But many, including Moon, understand that more obvious physical appearances are a major factor in the hate.
“Some people aren’t going to like him because of his skin color.” said Moon.
He does admit that some hate on Cam because of other factors, such as his skill set, but even that’s way off base.
“His arm is so freakin’ strong he can still get the football there,” Moon said in regards to the absurd notion Blaine Gabbert was even remotely in Newton’s league during the draft process.
Moon understands the struggles Cam will face as both a quarterback and a Black QB. His dealings with racism while he was at the University of Washington are well documented, as is his journey to the NFL and ultimate respectability. So if anyone understands what Cam is facing as he heads to Super Bowl Sunday, it’s Moon.
“You know how many people are going to be rooting against him? It’s going to be unbelievable,” Moon said. “When he wins, there are going to be people that are going to be upset, but that might be what it takes to change them over.
“I can’t beat him, so I might as well join him.”
And from the way Cam has changed the culture of the NFL and the perceptions of those who once doubted him, it’s a mistake to hate on him.
So grab a “#1” Carolina Panthers jersey, learn how to “Dab” and get ready to watch greatness materialize before your eyes on Sunday.