Opinion: Moon’s claims only trivialize, undermine real racism issues

Anne Buie

This season, Carolina Panthers fans have grown accustomed to the sight of quarterback Cam Newton sulking on the sidelines and in post-game conferences.

The fans are quick to criticize Newton’s attitude, but not everyone thinks Newton has a problem.

Last week, former NFL quarterback Warren Moon spoke out against people’s criticisms of Newton, claiming they were racially charged.

“I heard somebody compare him to Vince Young,” Moon told Yahoo! Sports last Tuesday. “It’s the same old crap – it’s always a comparison of one black to another black.”

The comparison of the two quarterbacks, however, came from Stephen A. Smith, the African-American co-host of ESPN’s sports debate show, “First Take.”

Race has absolutely nothing to do with the criticism. The criticism stems from the belief that a leader should face adversity head-on rather than bemoan the circumstance.

I’m not saying there is no more racism in sports or this country, and I would be utterly remiss if I were to make that claim.

On last Wednesday’s edition of the show, Smith countered Moon’s claims of a lazy comparison by saying, “It wasn’t anybody in white America that brought that up, Warren. That would happen to be me.”

Smith went on to explain the comparison, referencing Newton’s poor demeanor and saying, “Vince Young, once upon a time, had this problem.”

However, there are some who happen to agree with Moon’s statements.

This group includes Michael Wilbon, the African-American co-host of ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption.”

Wilbon commended Moon for bringing up this point, saying, “Newton should be compared to white quarterbacks of similar size, speed and athletic ability.”

While I agree with Wilbon on that aspect, his comment is beside the point.

Nobody compared the two because of their race and physique. The comparison was made because they have handled a similar situation in a similar way.

Both had fantastic college careers, both were selected high in the NFL draft and, when faced with adversity, both have sulked rather than acted as the leaders they are supposed to be.

While Moon’s comments are well-intended, they actually do more to hurt the issue of race in today’s society.

When people go around crying wolf about racism, it begins to trivialize actual racism in our world, which is something no one of any color wants.


Scott, a sophomore computer science major from Huntersville, is an opinion writer.