Cam didn’t wear a tie with his suit and the Carolina Panthers penalized the reigning MVP by sitting him out for the first drive of their next game.
But let’s compare Cam’s minor failure to conform to a Euro-centric dress code with Colin Kaepernick’s season-long dedication to agitating White America. Despite their opposite approaches to resisting America’s finely tuned racism, both quarterbacks remain hopelessly subservient to the system of White Supremacy.
No matter how many yards they gain or dollars they bank, both appear trapped in the same maze that tells all Americans their freedom is just around the next corner. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have the power to change things by going deeper (II).
On the surface, Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton had very different experiences growing up in America.
Cam grew up in Georgia, and has been hailed as a Black superman since high school because of his athletic talent.
As you can imagine, Cam Newton was pretty good in high school..#TBT
At every level of competition, Cam has inspired pride and dispelled prejudice by shattering the myth that Black quarterbacks can’t win.
Kaep, on the other hand, was the adopted son of two White parents growing up in California. Despite outdoing most experts’ expectations for his pro career, Colin’s most heroic play to date has been unpacking his complex self-identity on the world stage.
The bi-racial quarterback’s journey to self-discovery has culminated in the Huey P. Newton reincarnate now kneeling before us. The man who used White tears and juju from the ancestors to win his starting job back. All while upholding the sacred duty of making White America uncomfortable, again. Somebody has to. Especially since Cam doesn’t have anything to dab about this season.
Cam Newton: All lives matter! I just want to focus on being the best quarterback I can
But Kaep and Cam’s polar heroics do not cancel each other out. Kaep doesn’t need to be more like Cam, nor Cam like Kaep. Their opposite angles have led them to the same point, on the same platform, with the same dilemma:
How can they challenge the system that made them stars?
It’s hard to know if Cam truly cares as much about these issues as Kaep suddenly appears to. But with their colleagues and brothers getting murdered without cause or consequence everyday, both QB’s need to combine forces and send a real wave of consciousness across America.
Last fall, the football team at The University of Missouri put their weight behind a fellow student named Jonathan Butler, who was undertaking a hunger strike.
Butler’s protest was driven by the long history of racism on Mizzou’s campus and the disrespectful treatment of student protesters by the school’s then-president Tim Woolfe at a homecoming parade.
The school’s football team — in the midst of a mediocre season and without much ground to lose in the standings — decided to join Butler and the Concerned Student 1950 group’s protest.
With their coach’s support, the team threatened to stop playing and practicing until President Woolfe resigned. Woolfe stepped down soon after. But only to avoid losing the millions of dollars the school would have to pay to forfeit a football game.
If these brave students didn’t show the key to hacking an oppressive system, look no further than our president-elect. You can’t change a system you’re afraid to disobey.
There are no rules except those we submit to follow. And if we continue allowing our true colors to be confined by their lines, we will stay trapped forever.
That’s why Cam, Kaep and every other potential Joe McKnight needs to stop trying to work around the system and face it head on. Symbolic statements like Cam’s dab and Kaep’s kneel aren’t enough anymore. Neither are donations of finite values like money or time.
It is time to stand on infinite values like love and truth. It could get messy. But it won’t be any worse than what’s to come if we do nothing.
Obama defends Colin Kaepernick's right to protest: "Sometimes it's messy… that's how democracy works" https://t.co/WFu8Fqivo0
It’s time for Cam, Kanye and the rest of the “All Lives Matter” crew to recognize that Justin Timberlake and Jay Z will never be treated equally, even if both have on a suit and tie. So why keep following their code? They don’t even follow it.
I don’t have the answers. I don’t know the logistics or repercussions of wilding out at the next presser, purposely overriding the Panthers’ dress code or publicly calling out the league’s plantation style tactics.
whatever it is, it can’t be worse than what we’re currently facing. Or lower than the other side is currently stooping.
So I’m praying Cam Newton shows up next Sunday in a Black hoody with “RIP Joe Washington” on the chest. With no strings around his neck and no weight on his conscious. Like, Marshawn levels of not giving a fuck. Because no endorsement is worth this shit. You don’t have to kneel Cam, but you can shoot Colin a text or a shout of solidarity.
I can’t tell Superman how to save the world, I just know it needs saving. Whether our heroes wear hoodies and headphones or blazers and ties, heroism is measured by sacrifice. I know Cam, Ye see that all lives don’t matter in America. I just thought they had the courage to say something about it. No matter the consequences or repercussions.
But maybe I should lower my expectations and just go back to praying my favorite quarterback stops dressing like the Joker crossed AKA.
If you’re reading this Killa, America needs a true hero. Please stop pretending to be Clark Kent and be our Superman. Until you and the “all lives matter” crew take a stand, Black ties will continue to matter more than Black lives.