New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton can’t seem to catch a break.
Questions continue to linger regarding Newton’s longevity, whether he will be the team’s starter for week one of the regular season, and criticism continues to mount regarding Newton’s decision to not get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Well, now the 32 year-old can add his enjoyment of rap music to the ever-growing list of reasons critics can’t seem keep his name out of their mouths. The Georgia native has long been spotted on the field busting a move during practice as music blares over the speakers, the same as any other athlete listening to any genre of music they enjoy.
However, given Newton is still proving he should be the team’s starting quarterback, and not newly drafted Mac Jones, his “Black boy joy” struck a particular nerve with former Patriots backup quarterback Scott Zolak.
“I’d turn off the rap music first of all, because I think it’s distracting for Cam here. In between every throw he’s dancing,” said Zolak during a live broadcast of the “Zo and Bertrand” show from Patriots practice on Aug. 26. Zolak played for the New England team for six seasons, 1992-1998, but is far from making anyone’s “best quarterbacks” list with a career passer rating of 64.8. Newton, however, while no longer at his peak, was the 2015 NFL MVP and is three-time Pro Bowl player.
Not that any of that mattered to Zolak as he implied that rap music was purely a distraction. “He makes a throw and the music is still cranking,” he continued
The 53 year-old even used the criticism as a means to argue that Jones was the complete opposite, and instead of dancing during practice, he was laser focused on the game. “He [Cam] can’t help himself to where Mac [Jones] looks like he came to work again, like he’s here to work, and everything is attention to detail.”
Co-host Adam Jones interrupted Zolak to say, “I think it’s distracting for you,” before laughing. “None of this sounds atypical from Cam. To me it would be more noteworthy if he was doing something out of character,” he added. But even Jones’ attempt to smooth over Zolak’s commentary couldn’t prevent the onslaught of commentary from football fans that ensured.
Zolak’s brash commentary opened him up for criticism from scores of football fans who found his take on Netwon’s dancing and rap music problematic. Many argued the controversial remarks were racist, writing, “Zolak needs to admit he’s racist, that’s all it is!” and “He’s just portraying Cam Newton in a racist tone…like he’s some sort of Circus animal. Awful.”
Others suggested that maybe Zolak’s career stats would have been better if he’d listened to rap music.