Despite the fact there are nine black or biracial starting quarterbacks in the NFL these days, there are still lingering questions about whether black men can withstand what is arguably football’s toughest position.
Carolina Panthers’ third-yard QB Cam Newton addressed some of those questions in a recent press conference.
“I don’t think race hinders anybody at this position,” Newton said. “Opportunities are opportunities, whether you are African American, Chinese, Japanese, Caucasian. If you got skills to play this particular game of football, then you’re going to play, no matter what your race. For me, my opportunity presented itself, me going through Auburn, and it’s just that. I didn’t feel any type of pressure coming into this league saying that I have to represent all African-Americans, outside of saying all my fans are just African-Americans. 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.”
Later, he added:
“Absolutely not,” Newton said. “You don’t have a Bat Mitzvah just because you’re starting African-American quarterbacks in this league, even though I’m fans of everybody. I can’t just say I root for Michael Vick, RGII, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and those guys. I still feel as if I learn more, or just as much, from Michael Vick as I do from a Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, or even a RGIII.”