“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.”
This is what Warren Moon said to CBSSports.com regarding the evaluation process Cam Newton is going through as the NFL draft approaches.
Moon is wrong. It is not politically correct to ever say a person is wrong when they speak about race and discrimination, but Moon is wrong.
First, consider the facts. Moon claims no white QB is being criticized like Newton.
It would appear he is not familiar with former Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett. Mallett had to deal with allegations of drug use during his time at the NFL combine. He is still dealing with these allegations even though he has not failed a drug test, and there is no proof he has used drugs in any of the reports. Oh, Mallett’s leadership and intelligence are also being questioned.
Moon believes it is racist when Newton is compared to Vince Young. Want to know another quarterback who has been compared to the former Longhorn? Tim Tebow.
Jake Locker, who played at Washington, has also been subject to significant criticism. More than one writer, scout and commentator has wondered out loud about his decision making and accuracy.
See, here is what Moon does not seem to get. Every possible first-round quarterback selection is sliced and diced in more ways than one. Their character is questioned. Their leadership is debated. Their physical skills are picked apart. White, black, yellow or green, color does not matter.
Here is why else Moon is wrong. There is genuine racism that occurs, but when people choose to make every single issue about race it minimizes the ability to bring attention to the stupid things that people do just because of an individual’s skin color.
Most people tip their hat to Moon and say he deserves a pass for his comments because of the real racism he faced. I disagree.
By not seeing the situation regarding Newton for what it is, Moon perpetuates the notion that any person who questions the talents or character of a black player is a racist.
This does an injustice to men and women who are not racist, but have legitimate concerns about what they have seen from Newton. For this Moon should apologize.
Meanwhile, the best way to fight racism is to provide every individual equal opportunity based on their skills, not skin color. Even when the process includes equal opportunity for criticisms and questions.