As one of Cam Newton's greatest supporters, it was only a matter of time before Hall of Famer Warren Moon spoke up after the young quarterback received backlash following his post-game comments on Sunday.
But pointing toward racism doesn't help Newton.
To Moon's credit, he did say criticism of the second-year quarterback's demeanor was reasonable, noting, "You have to project optimism and calmness to the players around you. You can't be demoralized," per Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports.
On the other hand, he used it as an opportunity to pull the race card, and that's where I have issues.
Moon said, via the Yahoo! Sports report:
I don't understand it. I heard somebody compare him to Vince Young. It's the same old crap—it's always a comparison of one black to another black. I get tired of it. I get tired of defending it.
Moon does have a valid point, and I do agree with him in that regard, but this was the wrong time to bring that up.
The backlash directed toward Newton this time around was about his post-game remarks.
Newton said after Sunday's 19-14 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, via the Dallas Morning News, "The past couple games have been playing like the same script, with the same director, and it’s getting kind of boring."
He added, “I sound like a broken record, but this vibe, I’m not buying it, man. And I don’t know what it is, but something’s going to have to change.”
Newton needs to be more of a leader in the face of adversity and he needs to take responsibility for helping the Panthers bounce back...without pointing fingers. That is what this is about.
It has nothing to do with him being African-American.
I obviously can't speak for everybody, but if I heard the same words coming out of a white quarterback's mouth, I would react the same way—this guy is not being a leader. It's as simple as that.
Given Moon's close relationship with Newton, I can see why he's coming to his defense, but this is not the way to do it. Newton erred in blasting the franchise and he must take responsibility for his whiny demeanor. It was the wrong way to address the issues within the organization and I'm guessing he realizes that by now.
Moon gives Newton a free pass to randomly pull the race card whenever he receives criticism. That is not the way of a leader.