What Cam Newton Taught the Carolinas About White Privilege

cam newton

As told by some white boys from the Carolinas lol

Why do people hate Cam Newton?

  1. He is not on your team– I will admit that if this man was not on the Carolina Panthers and was on the Atlanta Falcons I would find no greater joy than in stopping him (because he is unstoppable).
  2. He does it differently– This is for the football purists and non-millennials that love a simple drop back QB that is a “game manager”. They want a quarterback that is the silent leader, a general leading his troops who supplants his own personality for that of the team. (Even though they would more than likely have loved Joe Namath or Dandy Don) They don’t want to see Cam come in and change the game and win because that goes against everything in “the book”. Fair enough. We are about to witness Super Bowl 50 and possibly the changing of the guards. Times are changing in the NFL, as are the styles of play. The future will probably hold more quarterbacks like Cam Newton and fewer like Peyton Manning.
  3. Race– Okay. Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. This is certainly not the only piece of the puzzle, but we believe this is the part that white people (we are two white guys) want to sweep under the rug and ignore or we believe that it is not our place to talk about it. Being able to ignore white privilege and not talk about white privilege is…well… white privilege.

The time has come to ask ourselves why is it when a white player celebrates in a sport people laugh it off and call him confident, BUT when a black player does they are labeled cocky, and people shake their heads in disapproval and call it “showboating”? Just maybe, Cam Newton is helping shine a light on this double standard for a lot of white people in the Carolinas. We love him and we are seeking to understand why it’s not universal.
We see this man every week doing things like hosting dinners for underprivileged youth in Charlotte. We see him visit and connect with children with cancer. We see him donate thousands of dollars to schools. We see him visit the families of the victims in Charleston. We see a “ man that has never been convicted of a crime while playing for Carolina, a man that has never abused or beat up his girlfriend, a man never convicted of a drug charge or DUI, a man never arrested.”(Marlon Jones) and we turn around to the world with pride only to hear him called “classless”. We are left incredulous and we want to know why this is happening!

Do they hate him because of a smile and a dance or is seeing a successful man of color in a position of power subconsciously scaring them? It’s a question worth asking, not just of others, but of ourselves.

Are we witnessing a watershed moment? White people on social media, on the radio and at the bars in Charlotte are having open discussions about how race is playing a role in how a man we adore is perceived outside this community. We are having to confront the fact that it is unfair and that if he were white this would likely not be happening. We are asking ourselves about our own feelings in past situations. White men (and women) are talking about white privilege, and in a southern town no the less!

“BUT He stole a laptop in college!” Yea and Peyton Manning was sued for pulling down his pants and sitting on a trainer’s face when she was working on his foot ( I’m sure all of us are proud of everything we did when we were 19 and 20. Right?) We won’t even go into the HGH investigation . You probably won’t see people mention these things on facebook, but you will see how “Cam should pay attention this week because Peyton can teach him a thing or two about class.” Why? Because he is an older white man and you are more comfortable with that?

Cam was viewed as a “thug” from the beginning of his career and he was put in the position of having to disprove prejudices and stereotypes. Once again, he’s guilty until he proves himself innocent. Though the perception of him may slowly be changing, the people of the Carolinas are left wondering why it seems to have taken him longer to win the favor of the public.


P.S. Maybe Ryan Clark can put into perspective for you….

It is not as much his black skin but his culture. The fact he has not adhered to the typical white Quarterback culture and has remained himself.

“For so many years black qbs didn’t have to conform to a way of playing quarterback. They had to conform to a way of behavior”- Ryan Clark

49 thoughts on “What Cam Newton Taught the Carolinas About White Privilege

  1. Great article!! Was just talking about this the other day about how anytime Cam celebrates its called distasteful which is crazy! He has every damn right to celebrate who the hell wouldn’t when you’re on fire like the panthers have been with Cam as the leader and MVP.. Great job writing that.

  2. Well written article. I’m just dissapointed that you brought racism into football. Racism exists. It’s not just white on black or black on white. Every country around the world shares racism but for the less ethnically diverse countries it’s Called national pride. Before the author and everyone reading this get offended all I’m trying to say is I’m white and I love the fact that I can go into a bar and trash talk white and black players to white or black guys and I can like a white player over a black player and not be accused of being racist. Articles and thinking like this geopardizes one of the few sanctuaries we as a community have left that we all just get to be people under and not worry about being racially correct.
    Maybe that’s white privilege thinking but guess what I am white and can’t change that nor do I want to and I respect black people, just not this article.

    Side note if you are offended this group of words that form an opinion are not going to hurt you. Just go on YouTube if you want to be reminded of real racism.

  3. I am not a Panthers fan but am a fan on the great things he has done to this city along with many of the players! This is great in site into the situation thank you!

  4. Yep. It’s startling to see people use words like “thug” and “hood” to describe his celebrations. And it makes me realize that if Aaron Rodgers did the EXACT SAME DANCE as Cam (not that he could) people would find it hilarious and it would be another insurance commercial.

    Double standard, indeed.

  5. No matter how much this black man does for children and the community and no matter how much all the little white children love for him to pass them a football after a touchdown, he is still looked at as a black man and not their equal. How terribly sad!

  6. He is making fans all over the country. Some of those kids will be Panther fans for life. He is making it more about the fans and what I’m seeing is
    some talented young men having the time of their lives. About the haters, they’re just somebody else’s fans. And the game it’s self, it’s just a game.

  7. I am a die hard Panthers fan and gave been since their existence. Even with Jake D. But there has never been a quarterback like Cam Newton that has been affiliated with the Panthers. He is God fearing, he’s awesome, he has rhythm, he has swag, he is talented, he has manners and a great upbringing, and not to mention gorgeous. It makes some people uncomfortable because he is who he is without an apology, he helps charities, and he is the BEST QUARTERBACK EVER. You dont see black people fussing about him giving little white kids footballs every Sunday after a touchdown. Just get over it. He’s a great role model for everyone and some people are nervous because they’ve never felt an “open” attraction to a young black man before. Its ok. Its allowed. Its called “being a fan”!

  8. Wow, I am glad to see the comments left here. That goes to show how well diversity is working not only here in Charlotte but all over the country. Cam will be Cam and as he has said when one person think bad of him that pushes him harder. That’s why he is awesome!

  9. Great piece, he is just a man playing a game you made and he’s the best at it, stop hating..folks are scared records will be broken and new ones set. We got basketball, golf, tennis, track n field, boxing,and yes even football. I will always excel when you tell me i cant…(my own quote). We (folks of color) are the past that cannot be erased,and the future that cannot be ignored..it’s not all cam, big up to the team (superbowl champs)…

  10. It is ironic that most or all of the kids that he has given footballs to are white kids or maybe it isn’t ironic at all. It’s probably because most black folks can’t afford those expensive seats by the end zones. Seriously now have seen any black kids in or near the end zones of any Panthers games?………that’s what I thought! The entire article is mindless and stupid and has nothing to do with color. Cam Newton is not the only black player that has played or will be playing in a Superbowl as a QB. Doug Williams of the Washington Redskins is the other black player that has started and played as a QB in the NFL. And yes that game was won by the Washington Redskins.

    1. Did you read the article Dane? What does who’s receiving the game balls have to do with any aspect of the article? Why is the article mindless and stupid? Why reference Doug Williams as if we don’t know black quarterback have played in the Super Bowl, Russell Wilson played in the last two. Let me assist you, the article is about how Cam differs from what we’ve seen in quarterbacks and why people are seemingly uncomfortable with it. Without demeaning the article let’s try to discuss the root cause of your frustration.

      1. Yes. Beautiful article by some conscious white brethren. Fairminded and sounding off about it. Keeping it real !!!

    2. Yes there have been black kids waiting for footballs. So apparently they could afford to be there, not that this is even the whole point of the article. The only thing mindless and stupid was your comment.

    3. My kids got a ball in Tampa Bay before the game because we showed support during pregame warmups. I’m a single black mom of 3 black sons and we sat in the lower level endzone. Please stop the nonsense.

  11. Wow, it is about time someone of the white race really be honest about how black people are treated with the double standard of society. This was a well written blog. It was honest and they really look inside their true soul to let the truth come out. I hope this article open other white people to be honest about what is going on in our country.

  12. Wow, it is about time someone of the white race really be honest about how black people are treated with the double standard of society. This was a well written blog. It was honest and they really look inside their true soul to let the truth come out. I hope this article open other white people to be honest about what is going on in our country. I am a Dallas Cowboy fan

    1. Jeanette – I am a 51 yr old white guy who has discussed the issue of race with my family as part of the negative comments about Cam for years. This goes back wearing the towel on his head, a picture of him and friends in Mexico and various comments by media. For Cam to bring this out at the height of media coverage on him was perfect. It has launched open discussions about race that may not have occurred otherwise and will have a positive impact on society. When I heard his comment I laughed and thought ‘ you stepped on the third rail with that one ‘ and I was waiting for the backlash. But you know what? It was not a bad as I thought. In fact it was much more positive than I expected, this article is an example of it. Cam knew what he was doing when he dropped that comment and I love him for it.

      1. Yes. Beautiful article by some conscious white brethren. Fairminded and sounding off about it. Keeping it real !!!

  13. Boorrrrringggggg……leave it alone. “why it seems to have taken him longer to win the favor of the public.” Whoooo cares?? Besides, He’s pretty damn popular last time I checked. Cam is an excellent QB, as is Payton Manning. Stop looking for dirt on football fans, i.e. average white people; if people say stupid remarks about him being a black guy celebrating, whatever, shame on them (believe me, if anyone says something inappropriate in our overly transparent culture of 2016, they will know about it, probably from 12 different social media outlets) but making this about race is pointless and overdramatic. As the great Bill Burr says, “I’m running out of white guilt.”

  14. “If I played against Cam Newton, I’d put a hit on him, no question,” Charles Barkley said on the “Dan Patrick Show” Wednesday morning, “because they rub it in pretty good. It’s fun to watch, I guess, as a fan if you like Carolina. And I love sports, they’re having so much fun, but it wouldn’t be a lot of fun to play against.

    I’m with you Chuck!

    Good people you are in denial if you don’t believe that the Panthers “rub it in pretty good.” If I wasn’t a Panthers fan I’m certain I would enjoy seeing them lose. And please put the race card back in your wallett with this one. I know red, yellow, black and white, that despise Christian Laetner and Johnny Manziel, and it has NOTHING to do with the color of their skin. I totally get why many feel the same way about Cam. MOST of the time he is just having FUN, but on many occassions he crosses the line to excessiveness, ie. taunting. Like Barkley, there is no doubt in my mind that if I weren’t a Panthers fan, I’d want my team to give him a slice of humble pie. Dude named his son CHOSEN! God please protect that child from thugs, and may he forever be head and shoulders above his peers.

    Thankfully I do see Cam maturing. I’m thinking back to how he used to pout on the side lines with a towel over his head. Have mercy, he is only 26 years old!!. Even so, I’m now ready for the day when he acts like he’s done it before.

    I’m all for fun. This team’s comaraderie is special, and it’s clear that Cam and the team genuinely appreciates Panther nation. But there is a line, and I’d love this team even more if they would stop crossing it.

    Maybe I’m just getting old…

    1. Nobody said it is the only reason but it definitely hides in the grey areas and accentuates a lot of people’s opinions on him. I think people have a problem with the culture and the fact he is a southern black man not adhering to the white QB “standards”. People don’t understand it so they hate it.

      and to compare Christian Laetner (a man who wanted to be hated) and Johnny Manziel’s (a player with repeated on and off the field issues who got more chances than he deserved) actions and say they are even in the same realm of Cam’s actions is a prime example of a double standard being in place.

    2. Charles Barkley is a clueless idiot by most definitions of the word. I heard the Barkley interview too and Dan the “white guy” made more sense during the discussion than Charles the politically correct Booker T. Washington “black guy.” In his defense, Cam was asked a question about why he thought he was being reviled. Without hiding behind a vanilla response, Cam candidly gave an answer that included a reference to race. And being honest, some of us simply cannot comfortably handle that subject matter. We do not make greater progress with race, because we cannot have an objective discussion about it. Race is a difficult subject because keeping racial divisions helps win elections and stoking racial flames is a moneymaker. How would Rush continue to fill his treasure chest, if all of a sudden different races collectively found kum ba yah bliss? And for the record, everyone who awkwardly navigates the subject of race, either black or white, isn’t a racist or is “playing the race card.” It could mean, they need more practice and listeners need to jump to less conclusions.

  15. When all or most of the players were white back in the day. Nothing was said or discussed about our black players unless they were feared because of there greatness. like Jim Brown. Look lets get to the chase it seems like the players are very talented and mostly black. But when white sees his position as a player, goes to a black and better player then, it’s a problem. It’s not a problem, it’s because you finally woke up to the fact that we too are just as talented as you are and probably better. All we wanted was to be given a chance. Now you’re up set because the person that’s doing the job that a white person use to do, turns out to be black and he’s GOOD.

  16. Sounds like a change going come; happy to see it doing my lifetime, because in these days you need a variety of strenghts to help the nature and nurture of the people around us with good quality leaders that can bring more than just behavior to the table, as this change happens remember we are in a time od wars, siding of our people (7~Billion), global issues and many more but to be transparent, we need good changes, and one ny one we will get there together. One person at a time! QB’s are born not trained.

  17. God bless you Cam and keep pounding! Stay the way you are because GOD has shaped and is still molding you into the MAN he created you to be. God bless you and your family.

  18. Wow! This is a great article! Said what needed to be said and moved on! #gocam
    #keeppounding #yeahpanthers #wareagle

  19. I first loved Cam because we both went to Auburn and live in NC. When he was pouty and not what he is now I wanted him to do better. And I has. He learned from his mistakes and turned things around. He hasn’t flamed out like Manzell (who is white). I love the Superman and the dab. He’s great at what he does. Why shouldn’t he celebrate when he does something good? I appreciate the fact that went back and got his degree, does good in the community, and is excited about his baby (unlike another former Panther and everyone seems to forget Tom Brady broke up with the mother of his first son when she was pregnant.). He is good at what he does. He he played for I team I didn’t like I might not be thrilled with him either. I think racism is certainly part of the picture. A poll breaking down favorite Panthers by political party shoes Dems love Cam while Republicans like Keickly. Whatever the reason you do or don’t like Cam Newton you can’t deny he is very good at what he does. That, should be enough.

  20. Why does everything have to be about race? He’s super successful and flamboyant and if he was white he would still have a lot of haters. Nobody seems to dislike Russell Wilson and he’s a black successful QB but low key. Does anyone like Tom Brady? Last time I checked he was white. And poor Tony Romo is white AND sucks and nobody likes him. Cam is amazing! He’s a freak of nature athlete, does great things off the field and he’s gorgeous. People are jealous! He deserves a lot more credit than ‘he’s black that’s why people don’t like him’. Geez…this article is what seems racist to me.

    1. Lydia, watch the video at the end of the article and it will clear up a lot of your questions. Also, nobody said it was the only reason he is hated it is just one that is under the surface and never discussed. If you can’t see the difference here there may be a little denial involved but bravo in the tricky maneuvering and desperate futile attempt to discredit article by calling itself racist. Racial issues exist. It’s better if we actually talk about them. It’s ok.

    2. Right on except for the Romo part.

      I would bet that the majority of the people that say race is involved in this ARE rascist /prejudice.

      Right on about Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, etc. I strongly feel that Cam brings a lot upon himself with the excessive celebrations, zebra print pants, and naming of his son. His dad was interviewed recently and said that he’s always liked getting attention. His look at me on and off the field style is what gets on a lot of people’s nerve, and as a die hard Panthers fan, I get it.

      Even so, I’d rather have conceited Cam than any other QB in the league. Go Panthers!

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