Cameron Newton became just the third black quarterback to be selected No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft. The Carolina Panthers chose the Heisman Trophy winner on April 28 at the annual ceremony that was held at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
Newton faced criticism throughout Auburn University’s run to the national championship in 2010 following accusations that his father was offered money for him to play. But the allegations proved to be false and Newton was able to finish his season without being suspended for NCAA rule violations.
Newton also dealt with draft experts who were critical of his quarterbacking skills. Some even predicted that several less accomplished quarterbacks would be drafted before him.
And Newton will continue to face pressure from the media as a black quarterback in the NFL. Michael Vick and JaMarcus Russell, the other two black quarterbacks who were chosen first in the NFL Draft, both failed to live up to expectations.
Vick lost two years of playing time after being convicted of dogfighting, and Russell never adapted to the pace of the NFL game.
From the coin toss at his inaugural game until he retires, Newton will be placed under a microscope by the media. –amir shaw