Do Your Thing Cam
Critics have used all of the aforementioned adjectives to describe Carolina Panthers star quarterback Cam Newton.
However, few have used adjectives such as joyful, benevolent, role model, college graduate, likely NFL MVP and possible Super Bowl champion to describe Mr. Newton.
While many supporters of Cam Newton bring up racism when discussing the obvious double standard between Cam Newton being ridiculed for dancing, while his White counterparts like Aaron Rodgers receive television commercials for their end zone celebrations, I will not.
However, it is ironic that Rodgers is celebrated with television commercials for his Discount Double Check dance, while Newton is viewed as arrogant for his dance moves.
Nevertheless, I will simply celebrate the man that he has become.
Like all men, his maturation has not happened over night.
He made many mistakes at the University of Florida (he was accused of cheating on coursework and arrested for buying a stolen computer) and early in his career with Carolina (looking depressed on the sidelines and in press conferences).
But he has overcome setbacks and naysayers and is now “dabbing” on all of his haters.
Although his talents on the football field were undeniable, his mother made him make a vow that no matter where he went he would complete his college degree.
Five years into his NFL career, he made good on that promise.
“It just gives me so much chills,” Newton told ESPN’s Trey Wingo. “It’s like, I’m in the…and the league class that so many people cherish, but I also can shine light to so many other people that was in the dark. Just to say, ‘Why do I need my degree? I already got money. Why do I need my degree?’…It’s not about how it may seem to you. It just makes sense.
“I’m Cam Newton. I’m graduate of…of….of a college. Not only a college, one of the best colleges. Or in my opinion, the best college, you know, in the nation at Auburn University.”
Newton earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and said he has wanted to work with children since the birth of his younger brother.
Like his younger brother, the children of Charlotte, N.C. are looking up to him and his Panthers teammates as well.
The Panthers have made it a post touchdown ritual to give the scoring football to a young child in the stands near the end zone.
Even that ritual has received scorn from haters for some reason.
“I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing they can compare me to,” Newton said.
Being incomparable should be celebrated in our society, not the cookie cutter choirboys that many Americans like to celebrate.
All great and talented leaders stood out from the pack.
That was what made them the great role models that they were.
No one had ever played the game of basketball quite like Michael Jordan. That’s what made him so special.
No one in the Black community had talked about passive resistance and Mahatma Gandhi like Martin Luther King, Jr. That’s what made him so special.
While no one would ever dare compare Newton to King, being unique is what makes people talk about you long after you are gone.
King has been gone since 1968 and people are still quoting him.
Jordan has not played basketball in over a decade and kids are still “feening” for his sneakers.
And at the rate Newton is going, people will be talking about him for decades to come.
And that is the sign of a true leader and a role model.