Cam Newton recently said his race plays a role in why some people don’t like him: “I’m an African-American Quarterback that might scare a lot of people.”
It took some soul-searching, but I think Cam is right, and I want to thank him for allowing me to challenge myself and any preconceptions I may have regarding race.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but my not liking Jay Cutler probably is based in race, too. I must be anti-white. When Clay Matthews faked a helping hand to Carson Palmer, I originally judged Clay’s actions as those of a jerk. In retrospect, maybe I just didn’t like him because he, like Jay, is also white. And I have to tell you, I’m sick and tired of Johnny Manziel. I hope he’s bounced out of the league, the no-good honkey.
It doesn’t end on the football field. I can’t stand James Franco. I must dislike white actors.
I used to think I didn’t like Katy Perry because she “sings” like a cat in heat, but thanks to Cam, I realize I’m probably just sexist. Sorry mom, wife, and daughter! Thought I loved and respected you, but nope. I’m anti-woman.
I don’t watch hockey, so I must be anti-Canadian… which also explains my dislike of Celine Dion. Who knew?
And while I personally love U2, and Bono, I have plenty of friends who hate that singer like nobody’s business. They must be anti-Irish.
Eskimos, God, don’t get me started on them…
Look, we live in a racist, homophobic, and sexist country.
There’s no denying it.
If you want to examine a situation where racism clearly came into play, look no further than the reaction to Richard Sherman calling out Michael Crabtree in 2014. The man made an excellent play, showed great sportsmanship in extending his arm for a “Good game” handshake, and was rebuked. The rest was legendary. Cameras caught him with his blood up, and he gave an impassioned takedown of Crabtree.
That’s not how it was reported or perceived.
Richard Sherman became the “angry black man.” He was called out for being “unsportsmanlike,” and that was the kindest of terms. On Twitter he was called a “monkey,” and a “thug,” both terms that were used to veil racism more thinly than fine deli meat. Richard Sherman went through hell for his moment, and it was 100% underserved.
But that doesn’t mean racism should be a get out of jail free card for personal behavior. Sometimes throwing racism on the table is too easy. Yes, maybe a few people out there dislike Cam Newton because he’s black… Sorry. Micro aggression. African-American. Maybe some people dislike Cam because he is African-American.
But maybe, just maybe, the majority of folks who dislike him do so because of his behavior, and the fact he acts like a self-aggrandizing douche canoe.