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Ex-NFL QB: Racism behind Newton criticism

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Fri Apr 1, 1:47 PM UTC

Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon believes criticism of Heisman Trophy winner and likely first-round draft pick Cam Newton is based on race.

"A lot of the criticism he's receiving is unfortunate and racially based," Moon told CBS Sports.

Newton, the quarterback at Auburn, is an African-American, as is Moon.

"I don't see other quarterbacks in the draft being criticized by the media or fans about their smile or called a phony," Moon said. "He's being held to different standards from white quarterbacks.

"I thought we were past all this stuff about African-American quarterbacks, but I guess we're not."

ProFootballWeekly writer Nolan Nawrocki released sharp criticisms of Newton rooted in off-the-field perceptions in his annual draft preview recently, saying Newton "knows where the cameras are and plays to them. Has an enormous ego with a sense of entitlement that continually invites trouble and makes him believe he is above the law — does not command respect from teammates and always will struggle to win a locker room."

Moon suggested Newton is being lumped into a "black quarterbacks" stereotype with the likes of JaMarcus Russell, the Oakland Raiders' 2007 draft bust.

"Colt McCoy came out of the spread offense and very few people raised that issue about him," Moon said. "So did Sam Bradford. Same thing. Very few questions asking if Bradford could run a pro offense. Some of these questions about Cam are more about his intellect. It's blatant racism, some of it."

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