Commentary

Cam Newton and the tired old double standard

Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins takes an unfair shot at Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, reviving the age-old double standard for black quarterbacks.

Mark Allan Williams

Mark Allan Williams

This was the headline of a Washington Post column by Sally Jenkins: “Cam Newton is brilliant and beautiful. Just ask the Carolina Panthers QB.”

I had to respond.

Freed from her special mission to defend Tom Brady at every opportunity, Jenkins now has time to deconstruct Newton’s ego. Because certainly, he’s the only Heisman Trophy winner-collegiate national champion-NFL MVP-Super Bowl quarterback who exudes a lot of confidence in his abilities. And no one could ever accuse her boy Brady of arrogance, in words or behavior.

Leave it to Jenkins to write, and the Washington Post to publish, an article revisiting the “Cam Newton isn’t humble enough” line of reasoning that has been applied to him since his days at Auburn, and probably before that.

OK, Ms. Jenkins, we get it. Cam Newton rubs you the wrong way. But aside from that, what is your point? Or more specifically, what kind of black man do you propose that Newton become?

You chose an interesting time to chide Cam for his statements and behavior. You might have heard that the legendary “Johnny Football,” Johnny Manziel, has been accused of knocking his ex-girlfriend around and threatening to kill her. Oddly enough, authorities in Fort Worth have closed their investigation without charging him. So I’ll be awaiting your column in the coming days on all that’s wrong with Johnny, his ego, his family and with the college and pro football establishment that largely enabled him.

Thinking that you probably addressed these matters previously, I searched the Internet to get your take on Johnny Football. Strangely, I found only an article from his college days with the headline “Johnny Manziel may be immature, but his critics are childish.” I trust that the breezy “boys will be boys” opinions you expressed in that column might now be influenced a bit by the allegations that he abused a young woman in what she described as a drug-impaired state.

While your article about Cam alludes to a double standard applied to black athletes in general, and black quarterbacks in particular, you somehow didn’t own up to the double standard that you choose to apply to Cam.

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