This is the fourth straight Super Bowl in which we’ve had a quarterback of color. Colin Kaepernick was the quarterback three years ago, followed by two years of Russell Wilson. However, it wasn’t until this season that the Proud White Guy defense of the Black QB has surfaced in regards to Cam Newton. Suddenly, over the last week or so since Cam Newton became one of the quarterbacks in the Super Bowl, White guys in the media can’t contain their excitement over showing us how non-racist they are by supporting Cam. Maybe because they see Cam as the “typical” Black guy who dances and wears Versace pants, they feel like discussing him as Black. Whatever the reason, their desire to show their love for Cam and sudden concern for Black quarterbacks is just self-serving front-running that’s typical of “allies” who aren’t really concerned with issues Black people face.
The Black Quarterback is one of the most discriminated-against and unfairly judged figures in sports and has been forever. Black people have known for decades that the Black quarterback won’t get a fair shake in the NFL. We know the story of Doug Williams getting cut after being the first Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl. We know about how rare it was for there to be a Black backup quarterback in the league because for a Black QB to even get in the league, he had to be an elite talent. We see bottom-feeding “talent” like Matt Flynn get every chance to be on different teams while Black quarterbacks aren’t allowed to be mediocre drifters. And we’ve seen the mothers of little White girls tell tell the world how offended they are when Cam Newton dabs with his genitals…whatever that means.
We’ve tried to tell White sports fans and broadcasters about the plight of the Black Quarterback for years. But now, with Cam Newton as the frontrunner for most popular football player, White guys are tripping over themselves to show how much they care about Black QBs. Now White saviors are rushing to their altars to read off as many stats as possible that show just how elite Cam Newton is. From Rich Eisen to Mike and Mike, sports guys can’t wait to show off their liberalism by proving how much they support Cam Newton. A lot of these same guys, must I remind you, were the same people who didn’t find it at all racially insensitive for the Panthers’ owner to insist that Newton not have any tattoos.
Right now, it’s cute to look back at how wrong the White media was about Cam Newton. That way they can all look at how wrong we were without having to explicitly point out their own racism. But these admittances are easy to make, because they don’t force us to look into the deeper issues of racism. This is front-running at its best, because, let us not forget that it only took a 15-1 all-time great season for the media to finally admit that Cam Newton was a top quarterback in the first place. Still, the “Cam Newton is great and the media treats him unfairly” chest-thumping the media is doing is a safe and superficial acknowledgement of racial double standards in how we cover athletes.
These same media members want to suddenly address the racism of Cam Newton’s treatment but won’t go deeper and look at someone like Johnny Manziel and the fact his White privilege has given him more chances than any Black QB has ever gotten. First of all, a Black quarterback with Johnny Manziel’s skill-set (or lack thereof) wouldn’t even have been allowed in the NFL. And a Black Johnny Football definitely would not have been allowed to play after going to rehab and putting on a Groucho mask to hit the club in Vegas. Somehow Vince Young never got even a second chance like Manziel has.
But our ever-so-happy to be suddenly enlightened media members would rather focus on the easy target: the dumb racists who still deny that Cam Newton is great. The problem is, we don’t need these people to fight racism by telling us Cam Newton is great. That’s not helping anyone. We already know this and have known this. Your decision to suddenly trumpet the one Black quarterback you think is acceptable* enough to end racism is a safe way to just make yourself feel better. Until you’re ready to ask why Matt Flynn keeps getting picked up by team after team based on one good game five years ago or the absolute degradation RGIII went through in Washington, then you’re not really ready to address the actual racism Black quarterbacks continue to face every year.
I don’t need White guys to tell me Cam Newton is great, with these sh*t-eating grins on their faces because they feel like forward-thinking non-racists. These guys aren’t showing they care about actual double standards. They’re showing that they want to feel better about themselves and race. Thanks, but no thanks. We don’t need you.