Cam Newton Goes Number One: Some Quick Advice


Cam Newton, Roger Goodell

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World – Scholarship in Action 

Auburn University’s Cam Newton capped off his stunning win of the Heisman Trophy by being the #1 draft pick by the Carolina Panthers in this year’s NFL draft.

I’d like to make some quick recommendations for Cam as he begins his life of fame and fortune:

1) Save your money:  Most of your fellow NFL players were sweating out the lockout because they weren’t able to make payments on all the cars and houses that they can’t afford.  Get a good financial manager you can trust, learn to start your own business, and make sure you’re educated enough to understand what other people are doing with your money.  If you lose everything, no one is going to care.

2) Watch out for the women:  NFL players like Tiki Barber are making comebacks as old men because they can’t afford to pay their ex-wives and all the other financial commitments that come with bad relationships.  There are also men like Albert Haynesworth, who get into trouble for incidents involving inappropriate contact with women.  Choose the right woman and try not to end up totally broke when it’s all said and done.

3) Don’t play too long: Quite a few former NFL players are suffering from significant brain damage after taking too many hits to the head.  Former Chicago Bear Dave Duerson is a powerful case-in-point.  Duerson recently killed himself after speculating that his brain had been permanently damaged from trauma related to several years in the NFL.

4) Don’t just be a dumb jock:  Far too many athletes never use their platforms for anything other than the entertainment of white folks.  There is an entire community that stands behind you, suffering from the endless hammer of racial oppression (that’s why we formed ALARM, the Athlete Liberation Academic Reform Movement).  Black men are the most likely to be unemployed, over-incarcerated and under-educated in our country, so one would hope that the black men on the gridiron would take up their cause.

With that being said, I wish Cam the best.  He’s a great player and amazing athlete.  Let’s hope he uses his power for something meaningful.


Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here. 

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