While San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick has continued his national anthem protest into the regular season, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton’s avoidance of that controversy has some comparing him to another iconic athlete who had a similar tactic: Michael Jordan.
On FS1’s Speak for Yourself on Tuesday, Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock compared the former Auburn quarterback to Jordan. They noted that Newton’s approach on this political discussion is similar to Jordan’s approach when he was a player: he’s simply not participating. The decision to stay silent, Cowherd said, is a good move for his brand.
“It’s hard to get in trouble for what you don’t say,” Cowherd said. “So Michael Jordan has largely avoided discussions, and Cam’s avoiding discussions.”
Kaepernick has elected to kneel for the national anthem to protest police shootings of African-Americans. Meanwhile, Newton made recent comments to GQ’s Zach Baron that America was “beyond” race. Sports Illustrated’s Jonathan Jones pointed out the backlash to Newton’s comments from some of the African-American community.
Whitlock said he likes that Newton isn’t letting Sports Illustrated or social media isn’t allowing himself to be pushed into making a political stance.
“Sports Illustrated and social media are trying to bully Cam Newton into a position,” Whitlock said. “And I respect the guy for not doing it. He’s paying a price for not doing it.”
Watch the segment here: