NFL Hall-of-Famer Warren Moon is unhappy with the criticism Cam Newton has received lately. In fact, he thinks that some jabs at Newton in the media are “racially based”. According to ESPN:
“A lot of the criticism he’s receiving is unfortunate and racially based,” Moon, who is Newton’s adviser, told the website. “I thought we were all past this. I don’t see other quarterbacks in the draft being criticized by the media or fans about their smile or called a phony. He’s being held to different standards from white quarterbacks. I thought we were past all this stuff about African-American quarterbacks, but I guess we’re not.
A draft profile in Pro Football Weekly published this week blasted Newton. Under the category of negatives, Newton was described as “very disingenuous — has a fake smile, comes off as very scripted and has a selfish, me-first makeup. Always knows where the cameras are and plays to them.”
The profile also said that Newton “lacks accountability, focus and trustworthiness.”
In defense of Moon’s defense of Newton, stating that a young player “lacks accountability, focus and trustworthiness” is both harsh and reaching. Yes, there were instances in high school when Newton was caught cheating. But that was years ago. The pay-to-play scandal last season notwithstanding, to say Newton lacks accountability implies that the writer has spent a lot of time with the young man and has intimate knowledge of not just his business, but personal, relationships. In itself, the statement is somewhat disingenuous.
That said, quarterback Ryan Mallet has been hammered by the way he has handled the press corp. His body language and flippant attitude toward his checkered past suggest he’s still an irresponsible goon. However, no one is claiming Mallet has been unfairly targeted…as far as I know.
It’s perfectly fine for a writer to give his/her opinion about a potential #1 draft pick. And claiming that Newton “has a fake smile, comes off as very scripted and has a selfish makeup” is based on Newton’s own recent words and actions. It’s not racist, it’s simply observant.