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The Charlotte Observer sports section reports on Panthers’ star QB Cam Newton’s views on the media-driven hype over the number of black quarterbacks in the NFL:
For the first time in the Cam Newton era, the Carolina Panthers will face consecutive teams with quarterbacks of African-American descent after hosting Russell Wilson’s Seahawks and traveling to E.J. Manuel’s Bills on Sunday.
There were an NFL-high nine black or biracial quarterbacks who started in Week 1. One media outlet has dubbed it, “ The Golden Age of the Black Quarterbacks.”
Newton isn’t throwing a party.
“You don’t have a bar mitzvah just because you’re a starting African-American quarterback in this league,” Newton said Wednesday. “Even though I’m a fan of everybody, I can’t say I just root for Michael Vick, (Robert Griffin III), Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick. I still feel like I learn just as much from Michael Vick as I do from Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers or even RG3.”
Newton doesn’t perceive himself as one who paved the way for black quarterbacks in the league who have come after him, nor does he believe race hinders anyone at the quarterback position in 2013. He’s just making the most of his opportunity.
“If you have skills to play the game of football, then you’re going to play no matter what your race,” Newton said. “I didn’t feel any type of pressure coming into this league saying that I have to represent for all African-Americans, like saying all my fans are just African-American. When I play this game I play it to the best of my ability so I can inspire everyone, not just a particular set of people.”
He’ll probably take some serious crap over his opinion from some of his fellow teammates and others from around the link, but hats off nevertheless for him having the courage to reject the racial politics of the NFL. Regardless of what you think of him as a professional player, or the controversies that surrounded him during his college days, this is a winning attitude – and one that this Panthers fan hopes will translate into wins on the field as well.
As the article noted, Cats take on the Buffalo Bills in an away game Sunday. It will be broadcast locally on Fox and starts at 1 pm ET.