New York Times sportswriter William Rhoden jumped on the latest leftist bandwagon on Sunday, heartily supporting controversial comments by the Super Bowl-bound Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. Newton was quoted in the Charlotte Observer accusing critics of his showboating post-touchdown antics of being racist.
It’s been twenty-eight years since Doug Williams became the first black quarterback to start a Super Bowl. Newton will be the sixth. Talented as he is, Newton is not breaking any barriers or shocking anyone.
But Rhoden took the complaint to heart and found it the most compelling storyline of next Sunday’s Super Bowl, pumping up Newton’s social justice brand to the point of comparing him to Muhammad Ali in “Dancing Around End Zones, Not Around Matters of Racism.”
As he prepares to take the greatest stage in American sports, Cam Newton has used the spotlight on him to discuss our country’s most persistent and vexing problem: racism.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Newton, the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, ensured that Super Bowl week would have a fiery discussion point when he suggested that the criticism of his exuberant style of play might be rooted in racism.
“I’m an African-American quarterback that scares people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to,” Newton said.
As a result, Newton suggested, he does not receive his due as a player: “I don’t think people have seen what I am or what I’m trying to do.”
Racism is the third rail of American consciousness, but raising it just before Super Bowl festivities begin this week, ahead of the Panthers’ game against the Denver Broncos on Feb. 7 in the San Francisco Bay Area, is fascinating.
Good for Newton.