There’s an interesting dynamic between the Super Bowl’s two quarterbacks. One a living legend, literally on his final leg, getting one last opportunity to win another championship as he tries to ride off into the sunset.
The other, the face of the next generation, hitting his stride with a cannon of arm, speed, agility, and superior leadership, trying to start his legacy by winning his first of what many believe can be a multi-championship career.
But what’s become the one big story line the last week? That people rooting against Cam Newton, and rooting for Peyton Manning, must be gigantic racists.
I’m an African-American quarterback with a unique skill set, and that scares people.
During his time at Auburn, especially after the allegations of illegal benefits that brought about the name $cam Newton, Cam undoubtedly had to endure through racists chants and messages directed towards him. And that was before he was dabbing and hitting the folks after touchdowns. Because of that, I don’t blame Cam for thinking that a black quarterback still scares a lot of people.
Why though, do the actions of some insensible people have to be transferred unto all? If you find out that Jeffrey Dahmer liked 2% milk, are you going to run every time you see someone at the supermarket buying 2% milk, because they might eat you? Of course not. Just the same, the racists that hated Cam in college because of his race, and are thus still rooting against him now, do not become the leaders of the all people rooting against Cam. They’re a very small percentage of people rooting against Cam.
Like I said, Peyton’s a living legend. Throughout his career (up until the last month where the PED rumors have risen), Manning’s been a class act. Playing the game with heart and respect, Peyton will be in the hall of fame. We love our stars to go out on top. Watching Kobe, MJ, or Favre try to hold on for too long breaks our heart. The natural reaction to seeing a star have the opportunity to win a championship in his final career game is to root for them, plain and simple.
People do not like change. They don’t like the game being played differently. Jason “White Chocolate” Williams in basketball, Bryce “Clown Question” Harper in baseball, and Tom “Uggs” Brady all changed their respective sports. And all are or were all some of the most disliked players by old-time fans: because they changed the game. Change does scare people. But change can be color blind. White guys that change the game scare “traditional” fans as much as black guys that change the game.
Cam’s not even the most hated quarterback in the league, if we want to go there. Walk through Times Square wearing a Tom Brady jersey, and you’ll be able to count the compliments on one hand. Go on Chicago Twitter during a Bears-Packers game, and Bears fans will be more than happy to tell you how both quarterbacks are evil incarnate. Hell, even people in Dallas don’t even like Tony Romo!
Cam’s dancing’s not an issue. His giving footballs to kid’s is not an issue. Cam Newton’s arrogant, and he has every right to be because he backs it up on the field. An MVP-caliber quarterback, with an MVP personality and character. He’s got to recognize that bringing dramatic change to a 100 year old game will bring with it critics. But for goodness sake, everyone that dislikes that kind of play does not hate black people.
The national media has picked this up and ran with it, because it sells. Division sells. Making people think that everyone rooting against Cam is doing so because of the color of his skin, sells. We have to be better than that. We’ve got to hold people accountable for their own actions instead of applying the blame to an entire group of people.
So if you’re rooting for Peyton, go for it. If you’re rooting for Cam, go for it. Let’s talk about the players, how unbelievable they play this beautiful game and how both of them are more than deserving of a championship. Let’s not talk about jackass fans who feel the need to write to Cam about his celebrations or slam him because he doesn’t fit their mold. The number of fans that root for Cam because of the content of his character and his play far outnumber the ones that root against him because of his race.