We know we sort of already canceled Cam Newton last month when he claimed the nation was “beyond” racism, but being the forgiving creatures we are, we can admit we were holding out a little bit of hope that the NFL player would come back to us. And yesterday that hope was trampled and spit upon.
The Carolina Panthers player thought nothing of himself when he was asked in front of a room of reporters about the killing of Keith Scott which happened in Charlotte, the homebase of the NFL team for which he plays. And while you’d think that death would’ve hit closer to home than any other for the 27-year-old African American quarterback, the level of concern for the events that transpired was minimal, as the first words out of Cam’s mouth were how speaking on matters like this is a “lose-lose” situation for him. Here’s what he said, in full:
“I know the place that I stand, sometimes it’s a lose-lose. You say something in one sense, and everybody’s saying you’re a traitor. You say something in another sense and you’re just too real; you can’t necessarily say that. I’m in a position now where if I say something it’s gonna be critiqued and if I don’t say something I’m fake. I’m a firm believer of justice and I’m a firm believer of doing the right thing and I can’t say it enough of holding people accountable.
“I’m an African American. I am not happy with how justice has kind of been dealt with over the years. The state of oppression in our community. But we also as black people have to do right by ourselves. We can’t be hypocrites. And I say that in one voice and also another voice, when things happen in the community, it’s not the fact that things are happening, it’s the way they’ve been dealt with after they happen…it’s like, okay you can get a settlement. Money doesn’t matter in that sense. We just need people to be held accountable.”
Starting with you Cam, because it’s funny how you’re okay critiquing black people but don’t want to get “too real” about the people who are responsible for our pain.
Honestly, Cam sounds like an uninformed pawn who’s repeating sound bites he’s heard guys throw around in the locker room. It’s obvious that not only has he not put much thought into these situations on a personal level as a black man, he also lacks any real grasp of the impact his words can have outside of himself. There are worse things than being called a traitor if you’re a man whose sole focus isn’t assimilation and white acceptance. Further, that label is far from being the only one that could be applied to him — if he’d use his platform the right way. Instead of assuming people only listen to critique him, Cam should remember there are people who also listen to him for guidance, as scary as that sounds. Taking a firm stand on something like police brutality could actually open the minds of those who consistently downplay the severity of these killings. But instead, Cam continues to play the middle line, more afraid of ruffling feathers in a negative way than shaking things up for positive change. For a second I was almost willing to give Cam’s cluelessness a pass, chalking up his ignorance and self-centeredness to his age, but then I remembered Colin Kaepernick is 28 and he gets it. Therefore, Cam has no excuse. Consider him cancelled.
— Ashley Stroehlein (@ashstro) September 21, 2016