Carolina Panthers player Cam Newton has drawn sharp reactions from Black Twitter after sharing his belief that America is “beyond” race. The comments come just months after he acknowledged his Blackness could be a factor in why he faces criticism.
“I don’t want this to be about race, because it’s not,” Newton told GQ in reference to his new thoughts on his frequent critiques. “It’s not. Like, we’re beyond that. As a nation.”
He believed fans’ behaviors toward him was “not racism.”
“Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion.”
“I’ll let you be the judge. I don’t look at it like that,” he continued. “I look at it like some people have certain beliefs, and I have my own belief, and we can agree to disagree on certain things. But this is what makes sports so amazing, that we can start a discussion around a table, in the newspaper, in the magazines, that will get people’s attention. And that’s what sports does.”
The quarterback has been slammed in the past for his antics with the media. Most recently, he was forced to address his walk-out on reporters after his team’s loss at this year’s Super Bowl 50. During the press conference, Sports Illustrated reported he ignored some questions and gave one-word answers to others.
Before the Super Bowl, Newton said his race makes him a target because it “scares people.”
“I’m an African-American quarterback that scares people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to,” he told The New York Times in January. “People are going to judge and have opinions on things I don’t have control over.”
Users on social media have referred to the quote to point to Newton’s backpedaling against the bold statement.
@_Elle_Spencer_ seemed to acknowledge the athlete’s new view was made to please fans as football season begins next month.
Cam Newton saying America is 'beyond race' isn't funny. It's pitiful. BUT it's a statement that will appease.
— grenada arie (@_Elle_Spencer_) August 15, 2016
@BrianMcLight was not surprised by the footballer’s perspective, pointing to O.J. Simpson as an example of a wealthy Black athlete forgetting his roots.
Cam Newton's views on race don't surprise me. They get rich and forget UNTIL they NEED black people (i.e. OJ).
— Donn (@BrianMcLight) August 15, 2016
DJ Got1 used Tyra Banks to illustrate the community’s disappointment in Newton’s post-racial stance.
Cam Newton: "We're past racism as a nation" pic.twitter.com/hCIlszsLX2
— DJ Got1 (@ItB_LikeThat) August 15, 2016
@ChocnessMonsta pointed out racist tweets directed at Newton.
Cam Newton says we're "beyond race"?
Hey Cam, DON'T Google "racist Cam Newton tweets" pic.twitter.com/JhWv9STdYl
— ItsJustJayNow (@ChocnessMonsta) August 15, 2016
Dre challenged the star to have his money and fame removed to see if Newton’s views on racism changed.
Take away the fame & the money let's see if Cam Newton still thinks we are beyond racism.
— Dre. (@Blueraydre) August 15, 2016