Many are calling former Denver Bronco Bill Romanowski racist after he wrote the racially inflammatory term “boy” in a tweet to describe Panthers player Cam Newton Feb. 7.
“You’ll never last in the NFL with that attitude. The world doesn’t revolve around you, boy! #CamNewton,” Romanowski said, reports the New York Daily News. Newton had just walked out on a press conference after his team lost the Super Bowl.
“Racist white men, for hundreds of years, have found power in calling grown black men “boy,” civil rights activist Jeffrey Shaun King explains.
But as King writes, Cam Newton - MVP of the NFL, a father, a businessman and a role model - is “not a boy.”
“Throughout history, black men who were decades older than white men have been called “boy” by them. It’s meant to belittle and dehumanize,” King said. “It has deep roots stemming from slavery, all the way through Jim Crow, and, as we now see, into modern America.”
Many African American athletes - ranging from Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson and Terrell Thomas to Rico Murray - took offense to Romanowski’s comments.
“Cam needs to bite the bullet and take what’s coming. But @billromanowksi is a disgrace,” Murray wrote to Romanowski.
Romanowski deleted his controversial tweet and apologized.
“Calm down everyone! I meant he needs to grow up!” Romanowski said. “I apologize for that remark 'boy'. It was not intentional or even trying to disrespect others. Peace everyone.”
“We should have seen this coming,” King said, arguing Newton’s comment is just further proof of his racism.
King refers to a previous incident just before the Super Bowl when Romanowski threatened to choke Newton until he couldn’t breathe.
“One of the commentators then using the exact words of Eric Garner, who was choked to death by the NYPD, said the words, 'I can’t breathe,'” King said. “Who says this stuff? I don’t care how crass this man is known for being — this is disgusting.”