Cam Newton has been catching a lot of hate as of late and I wish to shine some light upon it. However, I am not going to dive into the numbers. This is not about Cam Newton’s rank in the NFL or whether or not he is deserving of the MVP award he is undoubtedly going to receive. No, this is something that has been needing attention since week 10 of the NFL season. It was a topic of conversation before then, but that is when I saw the conversation take a drastic turn. In week 10, Cam Newton destroyed my Tennessee Titans and one time in particular he scored and danced in our endzone after a goal line score that had essentially ended the game. There was a trend I noticed all over social media though, particularly Twitter.
As I searched for many of the tweets to show in here I found that most of them had been deleted after I quoted them with my own commentary, but in general my own Titans fanbase was attempting to go after Cam Newton for his “unprofessional manner” which extended as far as a mom writing a letter to Cam. She wrote to Cam speaking on how it was her daughter’s first live NFL experience, and how it all went awry from Cam’s “antics” after scoring a touchdown. She also said that her daughter suggested Cam’s mom must have not been watching and that is why in a testosterone driven sport Cam decided to dance after scoring a touchdown. Of course ignorance cannot be placed on a 9 year old child and a parent is free to parent their child however they please and I will not claim to be an expert. Cam Newton’s job is to be a leader for his team, make plays, and win games. It is that simple in a league that has never been player driven that is what is expected out of the QB of a National Football organization. Cam Newton does not have to be a role model, he is not responsible for a mother bringing a child to a sport where people are literally throwing their bodies at each other for our entertainment. Choosing to be mad at Cam for dancing after scoring a touchdown is the equivalent of choosing to listen to Lil Wayne and writing a letter to him saying how he should not be using the “N” word.Many people will say that Cam is attacked for his dancing because he is African-American. I am a white man and I will not claim to understand the struggles the black community faces everyday or ignore the racism that is still in the foundation of our society, but I honestly do not believe it is about race in this issue. Cam Newton being black may be apart of it, but we see quarterbacks like Russell Wilson that are overall loved by the nation. The commentary we are seeing with Cam was also seen when Colin Kaepernick was leading his team to the Super Bowl. People attacked his “thuggish” look because he had tattoos which surprised me because I thought as a people we have matured past judging athletes off of their tattoos, but we see tattoos on defensive players, cornerbacks, wide receivers, etc. Same thing for celebrations, because hell anytime a player gets a tackle it seems like they need to celebrate about it. The trend I am noticing is the culture evolution at the quarterback position. Cam Newton is not culturally in the same category as Russell Wilson, Peyton Manning, or a Tom Brady. Cam Newton is young and represents the younger generation. This is a trend we have seen throughout history that older people do not ever understand why young people do the things we do. Rock music was seen as bad thing for society at one point and we are still living in an era that hip hop influences scare people because they do not understand it. If Johnny Manziel was having the type of success Cam Newton is having while doing all the celebrations he was doing in college, we would see the same reaction, because he represents that community.
There was something Stephan A. Smith said on First Take that I saw that I must agree with even though this is probably the 1 time out of one hundred that you will ever see me agree with him. He said how Cam Newton will get vilified in this Super Bowl and I cannot agree with him more, but it is not because he is black, but instead because he is standing in the way of a story-book ending for Peyton Manning who is loved by just about any NFL fan outside of Boston. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see that ending for Peyton as well, but I think Cam Newton is not only deserving, but should be the face of a league that does not really allow that. Cam Newton as I said before is paid to be an NFL QB and nothing more, but that is not all he brings to the table. Every game Cam Newton goes out of his way to make sure a Panther fan who is a kid gets that football he scores with. For a school in Charlotte that thought they were going on a normal field trip found themselves instead greeted by Cam Newton at Dick’s Sporting Goods where each child got $200 to spend on themselves and family. This is not a publicity stunt. Cam Newton has been volunteering at elementary schools since his days in college when he realized he could use his status to better the lives of others. He has a foundation that is specifically for kids the Cam Newton foundation and unlike most athletes he does more than just promote it, but actually is the one springing up ideas.
Whether or not you like his dabbing or his lack of “professionalism” at the QB position, everyone needs to see his impact that he has on children because it is honestly positive and refreshing to see in a league that has players who have been charged of murder, drugs, and domestic violence throughout it’s history. Many will cite back to Cam at Florida stealing a laptop. Was it stupid? Yes of course it was, but he was a kid in college and kids in college do stupid things. I know we all cannot forget Jameis Winston and the crab legs incident. What matters is that dating back to his days in Auburn he has used his status in a positive way for kids. The league could use a good face because Roger Goodell for sure is not it. Going back to the letter from the Tennessee Titans mom, you are right; Cam Newton is a role model for the children and he is doing a damn good job at it.