On Sunday, Feb. 7, Super Bowl 50 will be the ultimate showdown between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers. In the past, people who aren’t football fans have openly confessed that they tune in to the nationally celebrated event for the commercials or just the half-time performance. But, this year everyone seems to be tuning in for the action that will go down on the field between America’s sweetheart, Peyton Manning and America’s “most hated,” Cam Newton.
Cam Newton was a college football player from Auburn Tigers before being drafted as the first overall pick by the Carolina Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft. Within one year, Newton became the only player since 2003 to be awarded the Heisman Trophy, win a national championship, and become the first overall pick in an NFL draft. In his NFL debut game in 2011, Newton became the first rookie to throw for 400+ yards, breaking Peyton Manning’s rookie record for most passing yards on opening day.
With all this being said, Cam Newton is the latest addition to America’s “most hated” list and quite frankly, we just don’t get why.
But, we gathered a few reasons to help some of us understand why Cam Newton is so controversial. Check it out.
1. Now Everybody Knows How to Dab.
Anyone who enjoys the southern/trap genre knows that ATL group, Migos, brought the dab to our attention. Cam Newton, being an ATL native, made the dance his go-to touchdown celebratory move and now, little kids all over the world recreate the dance whenever they see him. In fact, the craze spread like wildfire and now it is a dance that is being done by everyone–all ages, races, financial status, political stance, etc. Now someone who is not familiar with the culture could Google ‘dabbing’ and find out the textbook definition of dabbing is associated with smoking concentrated THC.
Are the two connected in anyway? Maybe. We would have to ask Migos to be sure. Is Cam Newton, the clean cut QB promoting drug use? Definitely not. Referring to his celebratory dance as a promotion for drug use is just a reach to find a reason to hate him.
2. Cam Loves the Kids & the Kids Love Him.
Cam Newton has never been shy about his passion for kids. He’s constantly visiting hospitals and schools to interact with some of his biggest and most important fans. During games, Newton usually goes out of his way to give his touchdown ball to a kid in the stands. Perfect role model, right? Evidently not. Critics often point out the fact that he stole a laptop in college, even after he publicly put the incident to rest and spoke of his maturation to show he’s not perfect (because all of the sudden, everyone else is). In a recent interview, he stated:
“If I can make it, anybody can. You’re talking about a person six or seven years removed from a stolen laptop – things that people don’t really want to talk about… We all make mistakes. But yet, it’s all about how you rebound from that mistake instead of just giving up.”
So, here is someone who uses his past mistakes a teachable moments to those that look up to him. What a monster. 3. Cam Newton is the definition of #UnapologeticallyBlack. In a post-game press conference, he stated, “I’ve said it since day one, I’m an African-American quarterback that might scare some people, because they haven’t seen anything they can compare me to.” 2015’s most popular Quarterback, Russell Wilson, had a similar NFL Cinderella story, leading his underdog to the Super Bowl as a young black QB. The difference is everyone loved Russell because he was easy to understand. He doesn’t dance or boast and rappers don’t randomly show up to his games. Newton comes across as a threat because they don’t have the slightest clue of what’s next. He does not fit in the box of how a “traditional” quarterback should behave and it drives them crazy. Yet, it gives a whole generation of young athletes, and black people who strive to be great in general, the courage to be true to themselves no matter who’s watching.
Here we go… Why can’t Cam just be under dressed? #SuperBowl50 A photo posted by Ebro Darden (@ebroski) on
4. People still aren’t used to being led by a powerful black man.
Let’s be honest. With Barack Obama’s history making election in 2008 came a national backlash of racism the country hadn’t experienced since the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. It didn’t matter if you were in the streets, on a college campus, a man, woman, or child, being black in America made us a target for hatred we never saw coming. The conversations we all avoided about race came to the forefront of every conversation we had, and most weren’t open to talking about it. Tensions grew higher and the world grew a bit more dangerous.
Now, Cam in all of his sports glory, is leading his nearly undefeated NFL team to play against one of the greatest quarter backs of all time.
Cam isn’t dumb.
Cam isn’t messy.
Cam is hilarious.
Cam is charming.
Cam is a BEAST.
It’s a lot to deal with, but people (the majority of the public) are used to seeing images of black men who are criminals, dead beat dads, and/or men who don’t stand out in a crowd. While some argue that Cam’s leadership skills are riddled with immaturity, others think he is just enjoying the game.
Either way, many inside of the league respect him for his talent. When asked about his opponent, Peyton Manning proclaimed there’s no doubt in his mind that Newton will be named MVP Sunday night. “You don’t go 17-1 without being awesome.” He went on to Newton’s leadership and thinks that what he’s doing is “great for football.” So do we, Peyton.
Wishing both teams the best of luck.
What are your thoughts about Cam Newton? Tweet us @blameEbro to let us know how you really feel.