Cam Newton doesn’t think criticism is racially based; Warren Moon backtracks

Both Cam Newton and Warren Moon conducted interviews on Wednesday to address Moon’s highly-publicized comments from earlier in the week.

In an interview with Yahoo! Sports on Monday, Moon said the criticism of the Panthers quarterback has a racial component. Newton denied the criticism of him has to do with race, while Moon backtracked and clarified his thoughts.

“I haven’t heard anything that he’s said, but obviously Warren is a person I go to and learn toward for guidance with leadership on the field and off the field,” Newton said during a conference call with Chicago reporters on Wednesday. “You know he’s an avid person I might go to each and every day. I haven’t heard the remarks that he’s said but when it come to race and this game, I don’t think there is none at all. But I’m just going to continue to do the things that got me up unto this point and just try to focus on trying to win a football game.

“I understand I’m not perfect. I’m striving to be great,” he said. “Whatever people may think or whatever other people might criticize me on, I take it for what it’s worth but continue to try and make myself better each and every opportunity I get.”

Cam also said he wouldn’t worry about his critics and instead will “just keep living life.”

Moon clarified his thoughts during an interview on SportsCenter Wednesday.

“I think race is a little bit strong. I think stereotype is a little bit more of what I was talking about,” Moon told ESPN. “If we’re in a day and age when all quarterbacks are supposed to be equal, why can’t we start comparing quarterback to quarterback, not just black to black and white to white?”

Moon emphasized that he’s not trying to create a racial issue, but rather he is answering questions honestly when people seek his opinion.

“I’m a guy that’s experienced it, so I might be more a little bit more sensitive to this particular subject.”

Moon believes those working in football are past the race issue and will draft a player regardless of color as long as he can help the team win. But he believes there are others outside the game working in the media who still have the same “narrow-minded” thinking about race, and he wishes that would change.

“I just want to see things on a little bit more equal basis.”

It turns out that Moon’s real issue is the comparison of Newton to Vince Young. The comparison between the two quarterbacks was most prominently made by SI’s Don Banks, who compared the stories of the two men; they each were national champions in college, first-round draft picks, had dynamite rookie seasons, and struggled in their second NFL seasons.

“Cam Newton and Vince Young are two different players,” said Moon. “Cam Newton, the problem he’s having right now is he’s having a hard time dealing with losing. Vince Young had completely different problems in Tennessee. He had problems with his head coach. He had problems with thinking he wasn’t a guy that wanted to be a part of the organization. All those different things are not even the same, so I don’t even know where the comparisons come in.”

It seems like the discord is related to a breakdown in communication. Moon must have heard about the Cam Newton-Vince Young comparisons and didn’t understand them. What should have been explained to him is that the stories/career arcs of the two quarterbacks is what was being compared rather than their playing abilities. Had Moon been told that, maybe his remarks would have been different. And credit to Warren for admitting that his sensitivity to the issue from personal experience may have affected his comments. Moon is a smart guy who doesn’t race-bait, and I think he made much more fair — and salient — points in his clarification.

Around The Web

  • Louis Walker

    This is disappointing coming from Moon.  Certainly he played in an era when many held the opinion that black players couldn’t be effective at QB because they weren’t smart enough, but I agree the league has moved beyond racism and now evaluates players on skill, not color.  Whatever he meant to say, what he DID say definitely played the race card.  Certainly he faced prejudice in his playing days, and he deserves great credit for helping move the league beyond that.  It’s too bad he couldn’t take pride and satisfaction from that and leave it there.  The more minorities blame racism for every criticism and personal failure, the more they lose credibility and divert attention from instances of REAL racism in society.  Kudos to Newton for not endorsing his remarks and instead taking personal responsibility for his performance.  

  • http://twitter.com/loydj2 Loyd J

    Who cares what color a QB is; it’s all about W’s. I despise RGIII’s dreads, NFL players with tattoos and a host of other things that they project. However, when they are on the field and they are ENTERTAINING us which is what they get paid to do by playing professional football, that’s all that matters. I think a “more fair” comparison would have been Newton to Stanford.  Stanford benefits from having one of the most prolific receivers in the game and yet he can’t get the job done, which as a Bears fan I’m thankful for. Let’s start comparing apples to apples, even if one apple is a Washington apple and the other is a Fuji apple…

  • http://twitter.com/malymo77 Daddy Lyons-Moore

    your comment is a product of your white privlege. weather you recognize it or not “i despise RGIII’s dreads .” why mention his hair it really has nothing to do with anything except that most people that wear dreads are black..and the name is Stafford

  • http://twitter.com/loydj2 Loyd J

    Lol, I’m not white… and I could care less how to spell his name. Like I said, let’s compare QB’s of this era to QB’s of this era. I also don’t like Clay Matthews long hair, what does white vs black have to do with the image pro athletes project? Why can’t more players be like Brady, P. Manning, A. Rodgers? (I guess I should try to find someone that’s black so you don’t accuse me of white “privlege” (it’s spelled privilege since we’re spell checking each other)). 

    How about lesser known, clean but NFL guys like Corey Wootton (one of my favorite players currently in the NFL); it’s possible to be a pro athlete and not project negative stereo types. No one could walk into corporate America with that hair, those tattoos and expect to be taken seriously or as professional. But the point is lost on people like you, so I don’t know why I’m wasting my time…

  • http://twitter.com/malymo77 Daddy Lyons-Moore

    I don’t disagree with you about why cant they project a clean image. All i’m saying is why mention your dislike of RGIII’s hair. Hell in that case i despise everyone over the age of 30 who still has all their hair. LMAO your typical you may not be white but you talk as if you are privileged. i served my country in the US Navy honorably and my wife has a PHD in education we are professionals.    

  • http://twitter.com/malymo77 Daddy Lyons-Moore

    I don’t disagree with you about why cant they project a clean image. All i’m saying is why mention your dislike of RGIII’s hair. Hell in that case i despise everyone over the age of 30 who still has all their hair. LMAO your typical you may not be white but you talk as if you are privileged. i served my country in the US Navy honorably and my wife has a PHD in education we are professionals.    

  • http://twitter.com/loydj2 Loyd J

    C’mon Man!!!! :)

    RGIII is relevant because he’s of this current QB class, that’s all. (I love the image that Cam Newton projects, clean cut. RGIII, not so much) If you saw him (RGIII) on the streets, at night, in a dark rowdy area of the neighborhood, how could we distinguish him from any other hoodlum? Not saying he’s a hoodlum, just his appearance projects him as one. I’m glad that RGIII has broken some of the stereo typical barriers; but we’re not completely removed from it and I worry that he’ll set the wrong example for the next kid coming up that has the potential along with the wrong “look”. That kid may not get the chance he deserves without ever knowing why…
    Being completely bald (I shave daily as a result of receding hair line), I’m with you on those with their hair over 30. 

    Thank you for your service to our nation; it’s brave men and women like you that allow me the freedom to express my opinions. I am truly grateful for your sacrifice.

  • http://twitter.com/eric21162 Eric Richardson

    Touche!  I couldn’t have said it as well myself. Nor would I have been looked upon the same way- because I am white. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for having daddy lyons-moore’s back on spellcheck- priceless. God bless!

  • Jack Fenton

    If  he were white red pink or yellow he would still be having a disappointing year.  I think the issue at hand is his play on the field this year compared to last years performance. My thoughts are that this has nothing at all to do with his skin color and everything to do with defenses defending him differently this year, In the words of Stephen A Smith “Ni**a please”

  • Jack Fenton

    who the heck is Stanford?  Are you referring to M Stafford QB in Detroit? C’mon man

  • Reejer

    I agree with Loyd J. I know how it is being frisked in front of everyone at a Safeway grocery store because of how I dressed. And constantly being accused of being on drugs because of my hair and clothes.

    After joning the Army I became aware of how conservative attire can project a more desireable persona, and produce a better outcome on how people judge you.

    So I wouldn’t mind if the NFL would go back to the era before the 70’s when the athletes had to project a “professional” appearance because they are considered “Professional Athletes”.

    As an end-note I am a “white privileged” guy from black/white ancestry. But if you look at me I am as white as can be. So I think that we need to get away from all of this divisive speech, and judge people solely on their actions and the content of character.

    And these judgeable actions should include how people hold themselves ex: The thug look, punk look, and the grunge look. Because you usually act the way that you look, or you hang with thugs, punks, and loosers. Because you know the old saying “Show me your friends, and I will show you your future.” (you can ask Pac-man Jones about that.