Warren Moon does not feel as though Cam Newton is being treated with the respect he deserves. The Carolina Panthers are off to a disappointing 1-5 start this season, and Newton has not handled it well. The rough start hit its low point for Newton personally when he gave an overly dramatic postgame press conference after losing to the Cowboys last Sunday, during which he called a female reporter “sweetheart.”
While Moon, who served as an adviser to Newton last year, admits the criticism of Newton’s demeanor has been warranted, he believes race has played a role.
“I think a lot of this is because so many people want to say ‘I told you so’ about him, but couldn’t because he was so good last year,” Moon told Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports. “I think people are overreacting. How can he be a bust? He just had one of the great years a rookie has ever had, and now he can’t play? Come on.
“I don’t understand it. I heard somebody compare him to Vince Young. It’s the same old crap – it’s always a comparison of one black to another black. I get tired of it. I get tired of defending it.”
Just because “somebody” compared him to Vince Young doesn’t mean it is an issue of race. But just in case, Moon offered up a white guy whom we should compare Newton to instead.
“If you want to compare him to someone because of his demeanor, compare him to Jay Cutler,” the Hall of Fame quarterback said. “There are a lot of guys who whine and moan. Cam’s not biting anybody’s head off or pushing his linemen. He’s just disgruntled, and not handling losing well, because, think about it, he basically didn’t lose in college.
“I don’t think Cam’s as bad as Cutler, because Cutler looks like he doesn’t give a damn sometimes, or he’s yelling and cussing at someone. Cam, he just looks down when they’re losing.”
That’s just it. Newton looks like an emotional trainwreck in some of his interviews and reportedly held up the Panthers team bus earlier this year because he was sulking over a loss. Either he’s putting on an act, or his emotional state is very fragile. Back in 2008, Young’s own mother told the public that her son was “hurting inside and out” and asked fans for support. Perhaps that is where the comparison that Moon heard stemmed from.
I’m not saying race is a complete non-factor in any and all criticism of Newton, because that’s simply not the way the world works. However, Moon has been playing this card since Newton’s character was attacked in Pro Football Weekly’s Draft Preview last year. Very few people are denying that Newton is tremendously talented. He has simply failed to carry himself like a leader this season.
UPDATE: Cam Newton has responded, and Moon has clarified his comments. Read what each have said.
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