How Many Buckets Of White Tears Were Used To Write That Letter From The Tennessee Mom To Cam Newton?


To fully grasp the depths of the ridiculousness of that ridiculous Tennessee mother's ridiculous open letter to Cam Newton, you should be aware that this act was ridiculous in both a micro and a macro sense. It's ridiculousness was Darth. Pervasive. Amorphous. A ridiculous soufflé stuffed in a ridiculous turducken. Levels on levels on levels of ridiculousness, but three stand out more than the rest.


1. We are several dozen exits past the point in culture where any expectation of an athletes inherent status as a role model is still a thought sane people possess. Now, this doesn't mean that athlete's — or entertainers, or actors, or the guy in the Chuck E Cheese costume at Chuck E Cheese, or anyone you know nothing of outside of what you see on TV — can't be role models. They can be, and often are. But if a star quarterback happens not to be the person you want your daughter to emulate, you do not have a right — or even a reasonable argument — to be upset by that anymore. This is an ancient concept. And a stupid one. You should know better.

2. On the scale of things to be so upset by that you're compelled to write a letter to a newspaper to address it, "a football player celebrating a touchdown" is somewhere between "you gotta be kidding me" and "shut the fuck up. No, seriously. Shut the fuck up." This — the state of being Rosemary Plorin exists in, where a person can go to a football game, and be shocked that some of the football players did some not very nice things while playing football — is so foreign to me that it's unfathomable. This isn't hyperbole or even some slight embellishment, by the way. I literally do not understand how the mind of a person like that works. I know these people exist. But I just don't get them, and I'm fascinated by and scared of them.

3. Of course, there's the racial context. And pretext. And subtext. Just all the texts. I don't particularly want to go through all of those texts today, of how there's a historical and racial context with how Black quarterbacks are often treated by fans and the media. And how there's a historical and racial with how Cam Newton in particular has been treated by fans and the media. And how there's a historical and racial context with how Black athletes in general are treated by fans and the media. And I don't care to list all the frequently used code words and the myriad forms of dog whistling and hot taking often employed when conversations about Black athletes in general or a Black athlete in particular occur.

Instead, I'll just say that Rosemary Plorin's letter to the Charlotte Observer was 427 words long. Distilled, it could have very easily been cut to 24.

"I did not want to have sex with Cam Newton before today. But I do now. And I do not enjoy feeling this feeling."

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)



It must be so hard to be a middle aged white woman who:

1. Has the means to pay for an NFL game
2. Cannot fathom life for any child who must be subjected to the vulgar display of 'dabbing' and 'hit them folks' from a fully clothed black man
3. Must resort to diverting her young, impressionable, (most likely untalented), daughter towards this as a better example of how to conduct herself: