Since Cam Newton joined the New England Patriots last June, there’s been plenty to criticize. His play on the field has left much to be desired, his aversion to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine has already cost him game time and is a source of frustration within the organization, and with rookie quarterback Mac Jones coming in hot, he might not even start for the Patriots this season.
Yet even though none of the above has anything to do with the type of music Cam listens to, some idiot named Scott Zolak—who just so happens to be a sports talk radio personality in Boston—has blamed rap music on the three-time Pro Bowler’s struggles. Because what’s a day in the life of a Black man in America without a generous helping of racial overtones?
“I’d turn off the rap music first of all. Because I think it’s distracting for Cam,” he told his listeners on-air Thursday. “In between every throw, he’s dancing. He makes a throw and the music’s still cranking. He can’t help himself, to where Mac [Jones] looks like he came to work again. Like, he’s here to work.”
How dare Cam actually enjoy his job like...countless other (white) players who listen to rap music during practice! Take future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady for instance:
But snark aside, Zolak’s comments are exactly the type of stereotypical dog shit that Black quarterbacks have endured since the dawn of time. This is something that Doug Farrar of USA Today was quick to point out when Zolak’s foolishness first made headlines last week:
And to assume that a Black quarterback isn’t taking his job seriously, while a white quarterback is far more prepared based on nothing but appearance? Given the history of denigration of Black athletes and specifically Black quarterbacks over time for no other reason than skin color and discomfort with unfamiliar cultures? Zolak has an absolute responsibility to understand what the optics are there. Because this is a different version of the same kinds of garbage we’ve heard about Black quarterbacks for far too long.
So perhaps seeing the
proper lack of seasoning error in his assumptions, Zolack walked back his racially insensitive comments on Sunday’s edition of the 98.5 The Sports Hub pregame show.
“It was Cam’s first day back at practice,” he began. “I was trying to evaluate Cam through the process of his first couple of throws and I blamed rap music for being a distraction in his preparation [...]. I referenced the genre of rap that was being played. That’s something I know that’s drawn attention to for being racially insensitive. I’m sorry for that comment. I didn’t mean to make that comment. I should not even bring any sort of music into play, because I have no clue what’s going on in a player’s head.”
He then went on to note that he spoke with Cam in order to address the matter and praised the former Carolina Panthers star for having “nothing but class.”
“Great guy,” Zolak said. “He handled it perfect.”
Personally, I find Zolak’s insistence that everything is squashed triggering since how many times have Black folks been expected to be the bigger person when they’ve clearly been wronged? In a perfect world, Zolak would learn from this experience—since he sure as hell wasn’t worth half a shit when he was an NFL quarterback himself—and become both a better person and sports analyst because of it. But America has taught me it’s a complete waste of time to remain that optimistic sooooooo I won’t even bother.
For Cam’s sake, however, hopefully he balls out this season and shuts this idiot the entire fuck up.