Carolina Panthers quarterback, Cam Newton, has gotten quite a bit of backlash this season. From his dance celebrations on field and his recent comments on race at press conferences, it seems that someone always has something to say about Cam.
Last week Newton stated, “I’ve said this since day one, I’m an African-American quarterback that scares people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to.” This comment seemed to rile up a few reports so much, that when he was doing a 30 minute press conference earlier this week, he was asked three consecutive racial questions.
After the first question Newton said, “I don’t even want to touch on the topic of black quarterback, 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.”
A reporter then asked Newton to speak about a stereotype that “black quarterbacks can’t play from the pocket.” He responded, “I think we shattered that a long time ago.” Newton was then asked to back himself up with a further comment. He declined and told the reporter, “It’s not an issue. It’s an issue for you.”
Newton went on to say, “I’ve said numerous times that I play to have a stage that people will listen to, and I pray to God that I do right by my influence. So when you ask me a question about African-American or being black and mobile, it’s bigger than that. When I go places and I talk to kids and I talk to parents and I talk to athletes all over, they look at my story and they see a person—African-American or not—they see something that they can relate to…It’s bigger than race. It’s more so of opening up a door for guys that don’t want to be labeled, that have bigger views and say: ‘Well, I’m in this situation, I’m living in this environment right now, but I also want to be an artist; I want to be a poet. But I don’t have the means, you know, to necessarily do the right things at that point.’ As for me, I just want to give those people hope.”