Last week I wrote a column criticizing Carolina quarterback Cam Newton for calling Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh “Donkey Kong Suh.” My point was if Newton were white he’d have black folks down his throat for repeatedly calling Suh a gorilla name.
I’ve got history on my side.
It sparked a national debate that spilled to ESPN and I got a number of angry emails from people from Carolina. Some folks thought my column was stupid. A number of others believe it was spot on. That is fine. I have no problem with that.
The problem I had is with people that said I never should have written the column. First of all this is America and I can do as I please. Secondly, the column was a success. It got people to react. Some folks were happy about my opinion while others were angry. That is what a column is supposed to do.
Some folks would rather stick their heads in the sand rather than debate race.
Opinion pieces are supposed to make people think even if it is not what you want to hear. I enjoy columns that I disagree with. Other people only want to read people that share their views. But think how boring the world would be if we all walked around saying “I agree. Great point. Right on brother.”
When the people go to a bar or kick it around the water cooler, they don’t always share the same opinions. That is why it is called debate. Those are some of the best conversations to have because it makes you think and sometimes people challenge your view point to where you back down.
I never believed Newton was trying to be racist or mean. My point was simple. I was attacking a double standard in our world. If Newton were white he’d been on the podium within a day to apologize. After the Panthers beat the Lions Newton did apologize and I believed my column played a role.