Warren Moon: Criticism of Cam Newton Is Racist


Warren Moon, the first African-American quarterback to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, told CBSSports.com that he believes some of the criticism of Auburn quarterback Cam Newton is based in racism.

“A lot of the criticism he’s receiving is unfortunate and racially based,” Moon, who is Newton’s adviser, told the website. “I thought we were all past this. I don’t see other quarterbacks in the draft being criticized by the media or fans about their smile or called a phony. He’s being held to different standards from white quarterbacks. I thought we were past all this stuff about African-American quarterbacks, but I guess we’re not.

“Of course there is racism in every walk of society. We’ve made a lot of progress in this country. But racism is still there. I just thought in the sports arena we were beyond it. I think the way Cam is being treated shows we’re not.”

No, it doesn’t. Quarterbacks make a lot of money and ALL QBs are subject to intense criticism, especially if a team is going to use a high first-round pick on them. For example, here’s a piece on the selection of white QB Tim Tebow in the 2010 NFL Draft:

All the critics and analysts said it would never happen, but Florida quarterback Tim Tebow has defied the odds again.

The former Heisman Trophy winner was selected No. 25 by the Denver Brocons, who traded with the Baltimore Ravens to get Tebow.

He was the second overall quarterback selected in the draft. Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford was the No. 1 overall pick.

“I told them I was willing to do whatever it took,’’ Tebow said of his conversation with Broncos’ coach Josh McDaniels. “They know they are going to get my heart and soul and everything that goes with that.’’

Even after he was drafted, analysts continued to question whether the pick was a sound one, but Tebow didn’t seem deterred.

“Not everybody has to like you, just one team has to like you,’’ he said.

Tebow was the third Gator selected in Thursday’s first round, tying for the most first round picks in school history (1989).

Was it racist when the critics said Tebow didn’t have what it takes to be a first-round pick? Of course not.

And even with the criticism of Cam Newton, he’s still the No. 2 QB on Scouts Inc. pre-draft board.

Dan Wetzel has more on why Warren Moon is even raising the issue at this point:

Ex-NFL star Warren Moon has claimed that QB prospect Cam Newton is being unfairly criticized in the media because Newton is black.

Moon, who also is black, works as an adviser to Newton as he prepares for the NFL draft at the end of April. After 17 seasons as an NFL quarterback, starting at a time when the position was almost exclusively white, Moon has earned the right to broach the subject. His opinion shouldn’t be dismissed in a knee-jerk fashion.

It is, however, open to fair debate, especially since NFL draft coverage has hardly been kind to anyone, particularly white quarterbacks such as Tim Tebow, Ryan Mallett and Jimmy Clausen.

Even more, how does bringing race into the Cam Newton debate help Cam Newton? Isn’t Moon’s job to make Newton’s transition easier?

Race is a sensitive and complicated matter to discuss, especially on a national scale through the instant-feedback modern media. A 21-year-old QB trying to show teams he can move past numerous off-field dramas doesn’t appear to be the ideal vehicle. Moon may be ready for the argument. Is his client?

The rest here.

More Warren Moon:

Colt McCoy came out of the spread offense and very few people raised that issue about him. So did Sam Bradford. Same thing. Very few questions asking if Bradford could run a pro offense. Some of these questions about Cam are more about his intellect. It’s blatant racism, some of it.”

Oh really? It looks like Moon’s memory is a little fuzzy on how last year’s white, spread-offense QBs avoided questions if they had the skills to play under center in the NFL:

“The thing that makes me laugh is the question of can he [Newton] come out of the spread offense? Can he run a pro offense? Colt McCoy came out of the spread offense and very few people raised that issue about him. So did Sam Bradford. Same thing. Very few questions asking if Bradford could run a pro offense. Some of these questions about Cam are more about his intellect. It’s blatant racism, some of it.”

From Nawrocki’s 2010 evaluation of Bradford: “Has not played much under center, operating heavily out of the shotgun, nor has made pro-style, NFL reads in OU’s simplified offense.”From Nawrocki’s 2010 evaluation of McCoy: “Played in an overly simplified offense that did not force the QB to learn the position and needs to be trained in the mechanics of dropping back from under center.”

Of course, if Newton drops to the 2nd round, this story won’t go away, no matter what the truth is.



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