Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton held the first of many pressers on Wednesday leading up to Super Bowl 50. Some of his comments have already made news. If you haven’t seen anything, here’s a highlight package courtesy of the NFL.
“I’m an African-American quarterback. That may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing they can compare me to.”
No one’s afraid of Cam Newton and there are lots of black quarterbacks to compare him to. Let’s start with his contemporaries. Jamies Winston, Teddy Bridgewater, Tyrod Taylor, and Russell Wilson all start for NFL teams right now. Several others are just “one play away,” as the saying goes, from getting their opportunity.
Historically, Carolina’s Man of Steel has multiple challengers: Fritz Pollard, Warren Moon, Doug WIlliams, Steve McNair, Andre Ware, Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, Daunte Culpepper, Randall Cunningham, Rodney Peete, Jeff Blake, Kordell Stewart, Tony Banks, Charlie Batch, Shaun King, Aaron Brooks, David Garrard, Byron Leftwich, Jason Campbell and Vince Young.
Newton is not the first black quarterback to win a Collegiate National Championship, the Heisman Trophy or be drafted no. 1 overall. He is not the first black quarterback to play in a Super Bowl. Others have done so and won the big game.
He is not in Hall of Fame, but Fritz Pollard and Warren Moon are. Steve McNair was big and strong. Vick could run like a Cheetah and Cunningham had a canon for a right arm.
Confidence is good, cockyness is tolerable, but ignorance can be dangerous. Reading a book or online article about the men who came before him will not only help Newton be a better quarterback; it will also help him be a better person.