In a few hours America will go insane when the beloved Superbowl starts. Half-time shows, entertaining commercials, wild fans, themed foods, and of course, an intense game.
Amidst all of the excitement, I’m troubled by the villainization of Cam Newton. Not just because I think he’s hot and has an ah-mazing rock hard body that I’d love to touch. *ahem* That’s beside the point, ladies and gentlemen. Okay, so the guy does a touch down dance and that makes him “arrogant” and needs to “calm the eff down.” Wait, was Cam Newton on the field gyrating and twerking? Oh, he has to the first and only person who’s celebrated a touchdown with such an outrageous display, right?
No? Are you trying to tell me there’s been a history of players showboating, er, celebrating touchdowns?
Then why are people so angry at Cam? Will someone please help me understand?
I have to admit, I don’t follow football. However, thanks to youtube I’ve found countless videos on showboating in the end zone. Sooo….if you ask me, Dabbing can’t be the root of the anger. Let me explain…America has a history of being angry with Black athletes and muzzling these athletes who show the slightest amount of confidence. As if it’s not okay to have the freedom to revel in their greatness. It’s all fun and dandy when these players win for America (side note: can’t wait to see the new movie coming out about Jesse Owens, RACE.), but not when they’re a bit exuberant or “cocky.”
Just think about it…why was the GOAT boxer, Muhammed Ali, hated by many white Americans? He was confident. He was cocky. He KNEW he was the greatest and wasn’t afraid to boast about it. He even shut down this lady who accused him of it. He didn’t mince his words, and he spoke his truth. (Worth checking out). How Ali has the audacity to think highly of himself as a man of color in a white dominated world has gotten many men like him lynched. Well, he wasn’t lynched with an actual rope, but metaphorically he was when America went after him for his “religious beliefs” and “refusal to fight in Vietnam.” They even refused to call the man by Ali and only called his Cassius. Once scene in the documentary, The Trials of Muhammed Ali, showed evidence of this. It reminded me of the scene in Roots where captured African Kunta Kinte was whipped till bloody because he wouldn’t say his new slave name, Toby.
Heyyyy Alicia, no one likes a showboat. That’s true, but I wish like hell that I could own half the amount of Ali’s confidence and passion when it comes to my own work. And he’s hated because he could do what many of us can’t — recognize his greatness, his potential, his worth.
Heck, champion boxer Joe Louis fought for our country in a segregated army and still had to use a Blacks only toilets and water fountains. America so-called loved the Brown Bomber when he won (the second fight) against Max Schmeling, a German fighter and former heavyweight champion who’d earned the adoring praise of Adolph Hitler. “Yah, we beat those racist Nazis.” But what if Joe Louis did a little showboating then? Would history still write him as a hero? Would America have turned its back on this hero?
I watched the documentary on Ali. Early on, he was “The peoples champion.” Folks admired his quick reflexes and strength. As he matured, his mind expanded and he became enlightened. He wanted what was owed to him, what we all yearn for: FREEDOM. Cassius found his freedom in his religion. Once he changed his name to the unspeakable Muhammed Ali, then he became feared and the most hated. And, America wanted to silence him even more when he refused to go to Vietnam.
Wait Alicia, you’re off the point…it’s about good showmanship. Cam’s Dabbing isn’t what sports role models should be doing.
Ohhhh, good sportsmanship, you say? Well, if it’s truly about that then why is Serena Williams called out on being overly passionate and “aggressive” when John McEnroe holds a patent on having tantrums and outburst on the court? Of course he received a few boo’s, but he’s not hated on the scale that America (and the media) hates Serena. Claudia Rankine shares her experience at Wimbledon in her book, CITIZEN. Rankine sat next to an American white male who rather support the other player than Serena…here’s a clip from an article:
That Sunday in Arthur Ashe Stadium at the women’s final, though the crowd generally seemed pro-Serena, the man seated next to me was cheering for the formidable tall blonde Victoria Azarenka. I asked him if he was American. ‘‘Yes,” he said. ‘‘We’re at the U.S. Open. Why are you cheering for the player from Belarus?’’ I asked. ‘‘Oh, I just want the match to be competitive,’’ he said. After Serena lost the second set, at the opening of the third, I turned to him again, and asked him, no doubt in my own frustration, why he was still cheering for Azarenka. He didn’t answer, as was his prerogative. By the time it was clear that Serena was likely to win, his seat had been vacated. I had to admit to myself that in those moments I needed her to win, not just in the pure sense of a fan supporting her player, but to prove something that could never be proven, because if black excellence could cure us of anything, black people — or rather this black person — would be free from needing Serena to win.
Could it be that when it comes to being exuberant on the field that there’s a double standard? Could it possibly be Cam’s blackness paired with his passion and sense of freedom that makes him hated? Could it be that he could Dab better than folks his age?
Hmmm…I’m just sayin’.
One more thing…if I could will my body and mind to do the unimaginable then call me cocky and arrogant because I’ll be dabbing and twerkin’ and cartwheeling all over the place! Alicia, it wouldn’t take all that to celebrate? Oh yes it would because you couldn’t fathom the hard work and sacrifice to accomplish these things. And who are you to tell me to tone it down?
Don’t get me started…I ended this post over a paragraph ago.