I really hate making things about race, and while this isn’t a definitive truth, is it just me or does the perception of behavior in the NFL seem to differ between the black and white players?? By this I mean, isn’t there a very wide margin of difference with how the MEDIA perceives the actions of the NFL’s black and white players?
Last night, after a very questionable non-call went against the Patriots to end their MNF game against the Panthers, Tom Brady ran (at Cam Newton speed) over to drop some knowledge (and some F-Bombs) on the head official. Brady went on to berate this official all the way down the tunnel, with his little bro back-up Ryan Mallet, adding some color commentary to reinforce Tom’s dismay. Today’s headlines, however, have no mention of Brady’s behavior as being abusive or out of control. But what if the roles had been reversed and Cam Newton had been the one to chase down the official? Would Cam’s action not have drawn attention from the commissioners office or the members of the media? I highly doubt it.
Here’s the thing, I’m not even discussing whether berating an official after a bad call is a big deal or not (because mostly I just don’t think it’s a big deal at all), what I’m pointing out is how we just destroy certain athletes as demonstrative and praise others as passionate for largely the same behaviors. Cam Newton got destroyed by the media last year for seeming childish, petulant, and pouty after losing various games. Cam can’t be a leader, he’s just a child too excited when he wins and too arrogant when he loses. How many times have we seen Tom Brady make faces and pout after a loss? How many times have we seen Tom Brady absolutely tear into teammates after a dropped pass or an incorrect route combination? Tom Brady however is ALWAYS paraded around as a shining beacon of passion and professionalism.
Let me reiterate that I actually have no problem with players getting in each other’s faces or even the face of officials from time to time; it’s just part of the game and it IS about passion. Also this is football, and if you can’t handle being yelled at a little bit then you probably can’t make it in this game. Additionally, what we don’t see is how Tom Brady (more than likely), throws his arm around his players in the locker room and just talks to them, let’s them know it’s over and it was one play and we’ll get them next time. However, in the heat of battle those arguments and flare ups are going to occur. What’s unfair is to selectively choose which people we allow to behave certain ways.
As I wrote this article I started thinking about the players who just get destroyed by the media for their “selfish” and “destructive” attitudes, and they aren’t just predominantly minority athletes, they are also not “champions”; they haven’t won a Super Bowl. Maybe, just maybe that’s actually what it is, it’s W-L record and not race that actually grants you a pass for aggressive behavior. It’s merely just coincidence that Cam Newton or Dez Bryant (who got killed a few weeks ago for an outburst on the sidelines) are black and Tom Brady is white. The real reason that Brady gets away with his actions is that he’s a proven winner, and who are we to question the behavior of a winner? My only point is that this coincidence seems to happen quite often.