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“If Newton Were White, He’d Be The First Pick Of The Draft”

Last week, Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon said that Cam Newton is being picked apart in the press because of racism.

“A lot of criticism he’s receiving is unfortunate and racially based,” Moon told CBSSports.com.  “I don’t see any other quarterbacks in the draft being criticized by the media or fans about their smile or called a phony.”

Our take?  Moon was offbase and he should shut the hell up.  Racism is serious business.  And Moon’s claims can’t truly be backed up.  If he doesn’t see any other QBs being unfairly hammered, it’s only because he’s not looking.

Ryan Mallet has been hung out to dry by the media and draftniks… just like Newton.  And that former SEC quarterback is white.  While Newton’s smile has been called “phony,” Mallett has been accused of being a bad leader and a drug user.  To date, no one — not fans, not media, not draftniks — has produced any proof of the drug charge.  His teammates and coaches have strongly denied the lack of leadership allegations, too.

So what’s happening with Newton and Mallett?  Potential first-round draft picks get nitpicked to death.  And quarterbacks get it worse than anyone.  If you need a history lesson, call Dan Marino whose own draft stock plummeted because of drug rumors leading up to the 1983 draft.  He’s now in the Hall of Fame right alongside Moon and drugs never came up again during his entire playing career.

It’s possible that Moon has been scarred by what he himself went through during his playing days.  As a black quarterback in 1978, he had to go prove himself in Canada before finally getting a shot in the NFL.  It would be tough for a man not to carry that experience around with him.

So here’s a question for you: If we flipped the colors of Mallett and Newton, isn’t it likely that Moon would be talking about how Mallett has been attacked due to racism?  Here’s betting he would be.

Now, unfortunately, when you point out that comments like Moon’s are offbase — and you provide examples like Mallett and Marino — you are lumped in with the “racism doesn’t exist” crowd.  And that’s certainly not the case. 

This site pointed out in the initial piece that racism is real.  And when people claim “racism!” over a topic like Newton’s media coverage — ignoring the similar situation of Mallett — it makes it less likely that people will believe claims of actual racism.  Thus, the “shut the hell up” part.  Moon isn’t doing any favors to his cause, in our view.

To prove the point, take a look at what Dan Pompei of the National Football Post was told by a white NFL executive last week: “If Newton were white, he’d be the first pick in the draft.”

That — if it’s true — is racism.  End of story.

Granted, this is one unnamed executive and no one knows what his motivations are for making such a claim, but this is a much more serious charge than the one Moon floated last week.  Yet, most people aren’t talking about it.  It’s not getting the media’s attention like Moon’s claims.

Moon was talking about fans and media critiquing Newton when lots of other players have been sliced and diced just as much by the press and pundits.

Pompeii, however, has been told by a league executive that Newton’s draft stock is being adversely affected by of the color of his skin.  That’s the claim that needs to investigated.  That’s the story that needs to be expounded upon.

Moon was complaining about something that just doesn’t appear to be true.  Pompei is shedding light on a very, very serious charge against the people who run NFL franchises.  Moon’s claims got more press, but Pompei’s carry more actual weight.

If people want to learn whether or not racism is having a real impact on Newton’s career, they should follow the Pompei story, not Moon’s media claims.

 


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  1. [...] Did an NFL executive really say Cam Newton would be the No. 1 pick if he were white? (MrSEC) [...]



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