Cameron Jerrell Newton is a New England Patriot.
That still doesn’t sound right.
An emotional, inconsistent, aging, fashionably loud, braggadocios, chatty, inaccurate, diva quarterback who has a growing list of injuries, who had a few good seasons mixed in with a bunch of mediocre ones, who may have peaked already? It seemed like his days in the NFL were numbered. He was released by the Carolina Panthers and remained a free agent, waiting for the phone to ring. Some quarterbacks in his position, say Colin Kaepernick, would have cried racism like the boy who cried wolf and the legion of Twitter race-baiters, including Shaun King and Jemele Hill, would have flown in to echo their sentiments. They would have cried that the NFL is trying to keep Black quarterbacks out of the league.
He took to his Instagram, but not for hearts. As the hashtag in the caption suggest, he had something to prove. He showcased to the world that he was a refocused man. He started to embrace the journey and not the destination.
Cam used all of the negative feedback he received, not as a way to feel sorry for himself and drive towards self-induced depression, but as fuel to motivate himself. No trends, no gimmicks. Just sweat, grit, and hard work.
He realizes that he must pave the way for future generations.
Notice that most of the photos and videos on his Instagram account are in black and white. The color of his skin is not the point of emphasis. Just his workouts and the sweat equity he is putting in. Cam Newton showed the world that he is a man of more actions than words, more grit than glamour, more masculinity than martyrdom.
And it worked. He signed with an NFL team. Not a long-term deal for multiple millions. He has the money and has tasted fame already. He now wants to dedicate himself to something bigger than himself. He wants to be a winner. He now wants to forge a legacy.
This is the Black man the NFL signed. Not a warrior for fleeting causes, or a symbol for change, or a spokesman for false media-driven narratives, or an over-the-hill player with an exorbitant price tag, or a person who thinks he deserves something. The New England Patriots and the NFL signed a Black man willing to earn what is his.
The NFL just sent a loud and clear message to Black America.