Michael Vick, former NFL quarterback and someone who should be very careful in his criticisms of other NFL quarterbacks, had a few things to say about the Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton on the FS1 show “Speak for Yourself.”
Vick and show host Jason Whitlock are not fans of Newton’s quirky fashion sense. In fact, they dislike it so much that they think it’s actively detracting from Newton’s ability to lead his team.
How? Allow them to explain.
Whitlock: I’m going to ask you the question, because I’ve been on this campaign ever since Cam showed up with the scarf wrapped around his head. I didn’t like it from a leadership standpoint.
Vick: I didn’t like it either. I didn’t like it. You got everybody watching, Cam. Including your teammates. This is not a fashion show. This is football. Throw the suit on. The hats was cool — got away with that. But I mean, I respect Cam for what he do as a football player. I respect him because he loves fashion. But it’s a different demeanor, different approach you got to take as far as your appearance and everything, man. Everything plays a factor at the quarterback position.
If there’s anyone who knows that “everything plays a factor at the quarterback position,” it’s Michael Vick, who in 2007 pleaded guilty to a federal dogfighting conspiracy charge. He was in the middle of his NFL career at that point, and went on to play another seven seasons after serving 17 months in federal prison. Vick obviously doesn’t think that his dogfighting charge made him a worse leader as a quarterback, so it’s pretty rich that he thinks Newton’s fashion, which is not breaking any laws or hurting anyone, has an impact on leadership.
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Vick is the last person who should be criticizing anyone for what they do when they’re not playing football, but at least he said he respects Newton’s love of fashion. Whitlock says the QB position is just too sacred for Newton to be expressing himself through creative clothing on game day.
“If he's a wide receiver, or if you want to make a fashion statement away from the locker room, no one cares.”
Whitlock, who normally looks like someone who dressed himself from a store named “CLOTHES?”, apparently agrees with Vick that quarterbacks should suppress their personalities and dress like businessmen. Nothing gives someone more confidence than being told they need to change who they are to fit into someone else’s idea of what a quarterback should be, right?
People have been calling out Newton’s daring (and occasionally confusing) fashion choices for years. Fortunately for us all, he hasn’t listened to any of them yet, and it doesn’t look like he’ll pay them any mind in the future. And the reason is simple: how someone dresses has nothing to do with their leadership skills. Newton wants to express himself through non-traditional fashion, which is in no way related to his ability to play football and lead a locker room. (In fact, the only thing inhibiting him from doing those things now is his foot injury, which will keep him out of action for the second straight week.)
Cam Newton is going to keep being Cam Newton no matter what Vick or anyone else says. And Vick might want to consider that he lives in a very large glass house before he throws any more stones at quarterbacks for their leadership abilities.
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