Most of us knew about the Cam Newton the New England Patriots was going to get. Given the COVID complications on the team and NFL season, his past injuries, his clean bill of health on arrival, his flamboyance, and the near-insurmountable task of replacing the legendary Tom Brady, most Patriots fans believed in Coach Bill Belichick’s reasons for acquiring him and looked forward to what could be.
Yes, there is always that cloud hanging over Boston and the racial undertones that could emerge if it didn’t work out but Cam Newton is not the first black athlete in Boston sports to lead a franchise, albeit he is the first to really lead a Patriots team. Most true Patriots fans were more than excited at the prospects and Cam’s willingness to do everything needed, say everything “Patriot Way”, and conducting himself accordingly would guide him through the “transition” after the Brady dynasty years.
But alas, the season has been rocked through Coronavirus infections, lack of practice time, injuries (that plague all teams), and now that playoff hopes may be slipping through the team’s fingers, one person is looking forward and in a very ugly way.
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton likely isn’t considering the question, the question others are thinking about, the question that involves race, sports and Boston, three components that often combine into a toxic potion.
Newton may not be thinking about it, but others are, and the question goes like this: If Newton’s tenure in New England falters, will Patriots fans see Newton as solely a failed quarterback, or because of Boston’s historically ugly racial dynamics, will he be viewed as a failed Black quarterback?
— Mike Freeman, USA Today
One of the journalist dirty tricks is to pose a question made by “some”, accusing “others” of thinking something that the journalist is really thinking but is too much of a coward to come right out and ask him or herself.
Some of those same people say they are holding their breath now watching Newton, and hoping the extremism other athletes of color faced in Boston doesn’t happen to him as the Patriots may miss the postseason for the first time since 2008.
Never heard of a “race and inequality editor” before but it’s clear Mike Freeman’s job is to look for racism whether it’s there or not.
“I think a lot of Black people when it comes to Boston have had ‘the talk,’” said Saida Grundy, an assistant professor of sociology and African American studies at Boston University, and member of the school’s Center for Antiracist Research. “When you’re Black and move to Boston you get ‘the talk’ about where you can go safely, where you can’t, the sundown parts of town. We all get that talk. I’m sure (Newton) got it, too.”
While indicting the Boston area as the somes or others, Freeman didn’t reach out to Patriots fans. He reached out to “academics”.
Coach Belichick just isn’t into off-the-field distractions. If he thought that Newton’s tenure in New England could come down to a toxic race issue, he’d probably never have considered it; not just for what it could do to the atmosphere in the locker room but what it would be setting Cam up for. But that’s something the probably never crossed his mind when probably talking to owner Robert Kraft and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels about bringing Cam Newton to New England. It was about bringing the best available quarterback to New England, the opportunity to have a dynamic at the position the team hasn’t had in over 20 years.
Race was probably never brought up by “others” or “some” at 1 Patriot Place.
And if the Patriots don’t make the playoffs this season, will Patriots fans start blaming it all on the nigger? I hardly think so as this was never a normal season where there were great players opting out prior to training camp. Cam Newton was acquired after any opportunity for attending OTAs, there was no preseason so he was handicapped from the start and real Patriots fans cut him the appropriate slack.
Yet outside of New England others around the league watch Newton, wondering how he’ll be treated by fans if the team doesn’t make the postseason, with one eye focused on Newton, and the other on Boston’s history.
Because of the pandemic, the Boston area has not had to opportunity to see the well-documented human side of Cam Newton. The Cam that generously donates his time and money to causes off the field; the Cam that gives a little kid a football every time he scores a rushing touchdown (pre-COVID, there are at least 58 little kids with a genuine NFL game ball). You think they’ll recall this years from now with a racial asterisk?
After his football career ends, Newton would like to open day care centers, maybe a whole chain. He wants the centers to be fun and exciting and safe. “My passion is reaching and touching the youth,” Newton says. “I know football can only allow me so much joy; I can only play this game at this level for so long. But forever, I can experience the joy of being around kids and trying to make those guys better.”
— Charlotte Magazine, 10/19/15
The New England region may be a bit caught off guard by the hats and clothes, but Cam Newton has done everything expected of a Patriot under the most unnatural and unpredictable of conditions and to blame any team failure on him and/or his race is a slander at best.
BTW — Freeman and the activists interviewed will never admit that Democrats were the orchestrators of “Boston’s historically ugly racial dynamics“.
Mike Freeman appears to be a certified racebaiter who looks for evil bogeymen whether they’re there or not. Pouring gasoline on a fire not yet ignited is irresponsible but it seems to be what keeps people like him employed and that is what “some” and “others” really dislike about so-called journalists today.