Doug Williams, the first black quarterback to play in the Super Bowl, says that race motivates the criticism of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton for his antics on the field.
Williams explained to USA Today, “They probably look at Cam almost like they look at me.… I’m not going to be the one who says what my thinking is, because sometimes it don’t matter what I think. It ain’t going to matter what he thinks. Because at the end of the day you’ve got a lot of people denying (racism is behind the criticism of Newton), that that’s not true. Even if it’s true, they’re going to deny it.”
Newton boasted this past week, “I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing they can compare me to.”
Williams added, “I think Cam is mature enough, he knows what he’s up against. He knows what he has to deal with. And he’s got a daddy, he’s got grandparents, he’s got older people who’ve lived in this world long enough to understand why a lot of things happen to certain people. He’s got a right to understand that (race) could be one of the problems.”
Newton has been slammed for his boastful Clark Kent-to-Superman shirt rip, his choreographed first-down signal, and his suggestive movements after a successful play. One mother who took her 9-year-old young daughter to a Panthers game wrote a letter decrying his behavior, saying, “Because of where we sat, we had a close up view of your conduct in the fourth quarter. The chest puffs. The pelvic thrusts. The arrogant struts and the ‘in your face’ taunting of both the Titans’ players and fans. We saw it all.”
Of course, there’s Newton, and then there’s the legendary running back Barry Sanders, who displayed a completely different reaction after scoring a touchdown. Sanders was famous for telling young players that if they scored to “act like you’ve been there before.”