After watching Cam Newton defend accused team owner Jerry Richardson from accusations of sexual abuse and using a racial slur against a black employee, I struggled and tussled with the urge to simply call Cam a derogatory name for an agreeable negro.
House negro, field negro or dumb negro are just a few of the terms that popped into mind. Indeed, this isn’t the first time that Newton has had a questionable, somewhat thickheaded response to a situation that had even the slightest allusion to race, slavery or antebellum southern customs.
Uploaded by Out the Blocks With Sheena Marie on 2017-12-20.
Many can recall how prior to appearing in Super Bowl 50 he appeared to embrace the "blackness" of being a black quarterback in the National Football League. However, it wasn’t long before he backtracked on that statement.
Black folks of a particular mindset were livid. Even though I was perturbed by his stance, I understood why he spoke as he did. Here’s a grown man who was still being judged for allegedly stealing a laptop while he was an 18-year-old freshman at Florida. He is in a unique situation as a young, black superstar in the deep south. I understand the weight of his situation.
I had come to believe it is very unfair to relegate black public figures with whom I’m having a philosophical disagreement with into a colored people phantom zone devoid of soul, funk, grape soda, watermelon and fried chicken.
A simple disagreement should not pit individuals against one another in some lifelong DuBois v. Washington struggle. But in modern times, the many modes of communication appear to have diluted our ability to understand. So, I'm giving it a shot.
Thus, this is an attempt at understanding Cam Newton’s motivation to support a man who is being accused of such heinous things. A Jeans Day that empowered him to ogle and judge women's butts in his office, the insistence upon being called Mister, a documented belief that he literally owns players, and that dishing out cash will make it alright.
Uploaded by Out the Blocks With Sheena Marie on 2017-12-17.
For some reason, now it seems more clear why Newton has been so hesitant to speak out on issues of race until well after it had become somewhat apropos to do so. Initially, I thought it had something to do with him being a superstar in the heart of North Carolina. College hoops and pork byproducts aside, North Carolina is also one of the most racist states in a very racist country. Don’t shoot the messenger here! That’s according to the Washington Post and Google.
I can’t front on Newton’s wish to be loyal to Jerry Richardson, nor can one question the sincerity of his feelings about why he doesn’t want the team sold. Loyalty is good, but loyalty to what? Indeed, Richardson made Cam Newton a rich man. But Newton was drafted top overall out of Auburn. Any team with the ability to draft him would have done so. Newton was a transcendent talent out of high school, so who’s REALLY responsible for his success? His parents! Yet, I hear him speak of Richardson as if he were actually his Pappy.
I can't help but think back to his "black quarterback" comments prior to his Super Bowl appearance. I wrote about it for The Shadow League in a story titled People-Pleaser Cam Avoids Race, Yet Again.
In January, just prior to the Super Bowl, Cam spoke about his station as a Black quarterback in the National Football League in an interview with the Charlotte Observer.
“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 proclaimed.
That quote seemed to set the nation ablaze as if it were spoken by a world leader and not a professional athlete whose sole job is to entertain us. Black people were throwing Cam Newton parties, White people were losing their minds. In this maelstrom of controversy, Newton "clarified" his statement just weeks later.
“I don’t even want to touch on the topic of black quarterback,” Newton said when asked about his legacy in the shadow of black quarterbacks Warren Moon and Randall Cunningham, “because I think this game is bigger than black, white or even green. So I think we limit ourselves when we just label ourselves just black, this, that and the third.“
"I wanted to bring awareness because of that, but yet I don’t think I should be labeled just a black quarterback, because it’s bigger things in this sport that need to be accomplished.”
Up until these allegations came to light, who but those with the most intimate knowledge could have guessed at the types of things that were occurring down in Charlotte, but where there is power, corruption inevitably lurks. In retrospect, it's clear Cam's retraction of his black QB statement was directly affected by the team owner.
Blinded by adulation for a living icon of Carolina, Newton is steadfast in discounting the claims of four individuals. Richardson’s selling of the team might not be an outright admission of guilt. Perhaps he’s just an older fellow who really doesn’t want to deal with the scrutiny. Benefit of the doubt and all that jazz. But he built this franchise from the ground up, and is a literal cornerstone of contemporary Charlotte, and he isn’t even going to try to put up a fight?
Can you imagine if it were Jerry Jones? Man, Jones would have to literally be dragged out, spitting, shooting and cussin’! Can you imagine if it were Michael Jordan walking away from the Charlotte Hornets under such circumstances? It would be the international story of the century. However, since it’s a once thought of as kindly 81-year-old man, he’ll be allowed to sell the franchise, with the story eventually fading into obscurity once the transition is made.
Newton’s allegiance to a marked man is a shame from a PR perspective. However, it is indicative of a mindset that proliferates the league. One in which players are beholden to the owners for an “opportunity” rather than dealing with it from the standpoint of equal partnership. Particularly so for elite, young, black talent like Newton, and old white men like Richardson. It's some Different Strokes, Webster-type shit, honestly. But the players take all the risks, including the very real possibility of a debilitated life due to CTE, yet many players “look up” to owners like father figures.
Cam, Richardson ain’t ya Daddy! Let it go!