It’s no question that the most controversial player in this years NFL Draft is Heisman Trophy winner and 2010 BCS National Champion quarterback, Cam Newtown. There is a lot to be said about Cam Newtown. He is one of the most difficult guys to evaluate because he comes from a spread offense in a run first option. He has a strong arm and can make some nice throws but he lacks accuracy and some question his effectiveness in a pro offense. Then there is the intangible aspect to look at. Newton is obviously a high-caliber QB who was able to lead his team to a national championship. But then there is also his troubled past where he stole a laptop at the University of Florida. Then there were the numerous allegations of cash for play deals between his father and Mississippi State. For all these reasons, Newton becomes a super tough guy to evaluate.
Today Warren Moon came to the defense of Newtown and released a statement in which he talks about Newton. “A lot of the criticism he’s receiving is unfortunate and racially based,” said Warren Moon.
In an ESPN article they talked about an account of another draft evaluating site that labeled Newtown as “disingenuous with a fake smile”. Moon took great offense to that saying that Newton is being targeted this way only because of the color of his skin. He says that they are attacking his intellict specifically and that it is blatant racism. He also pointed out that people only want to compare him to Jamarcus Russell because he was another big, storng, black quarterback coming out of college.
I don’t completely agree with everything Warren Moon is saying but I absolutely understand where he is coming from. I know that a lot of people today will point and say how many black quarterbacks have ever won a Super Bowl? That is just not a fair statement. Doug Williams is still the only black quarterback to win a Super Bowl but that doesn’t mean that others aren’t at a disadvatage or uncapable. The fact is that the posistion has been dominated by white men for years until they started letting black players actually play the toughest position on the field. So inevitably they are going to be behind but even today we see some of the best QB’s are black; case in point Michael Vick.
The problem comes with the fact that some of the assessments of Cam Newton are fair. He does have a troubled past and it’s fair to bring that up. Whether he’s black or white has no difference when evaluating a crime he has committed in the past. You also can’t get offended and say its blatant racism to question his football I.Q. When drafting a player in the top 5 you want to be more than positive that you’re getting one of the smartest, hard working guys you can find, especially when you’re paying them millions of dollars.
I would say to Mr. Moon that he might have a point and that certainly some people see race as a factor but when it boils down to it most people will look at Cam Newton for the football player and man that he is when evaluating his ability at the next level.