It didn’t take Dannon Yogurt long to sign Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott as their spokesperson, following their sacking of Carolina Panthers pivot Cam Newton.
Newton, in case you don’t follow football, was slammed for making sexist comments when a female Charlotte Observer reporter asked him a question about receiver routes in a press conference. Newton somehow thought it was funny that a female reporter would ask such a question. He later tried to brush off the comments by saying he should have said that any reporter asking that question was funny – the intimation being reporters don’t know football.
Newton, unfortunately, has a history of immaturity and stupidity. His latest actions are even more unthinkable given he has two daughters of his own. Imagine how he would feel if someone spoke to one of his daughters in the same manner?
Newton’s current actions are only a small part of the story. Football fans know he bounced from university to university due to academic and legal issues. They also know his father went to the Rick Pitino school of athlete recruitment, and allegedly demanded cash payment for his son’s college commitment. Yet, as a fan, I loved Newton’s play at Auburn, where he willed his team to a national title and at Carolina where he guided the Panthers to a Super Bowl. As a black man, I have to admit he gets my biased support. I want black QB’s to succeed, so they can prove to the league and fans that they are smart leaders, despite not having always been given a fair shake. But as a black man, I also cringe at Newton’s actions.
Clearly, Dannon Yogurt didn’t do their homework on Newton before they signed him. The first time I saw their ads, I thought … what an odd fit, but kudos to Dannon. They are taking a chance on a young man with a questionable past, but unfortunately that decision burned them.
I am also a Dak Prescott fan, admittedly for the same reasons. When he was at Mississippi State he took a program from mediocre to #1 in the polls. When Dallas drafted him I told my Cowboys “friends”, they got the steal of the draft. They didn’t believe me. Thank goodness Tony Romo’s did! So now Dannon has hitched their wagon on another young, and black, emerging star QB.
If you don’t think the American football landscape is biased against black quarterbacks read these media quotes after Dak’s final college game, a 51-28 bowl win over North Carolina State:
“The senior quarterback was superb, completing 25 of 42 passes for four touchdowns, 380 passing yards and an interception. He also rushed for 47 yards on 12 carries.”
“Prescott set a Mississippi State bowl record with his four passing touchdowns, breaking the Belk Bowl record for passing yards in the process. He also helped the Bulldogs break the Belk Bowl record for total offence (569) and most points scored by a team”
“Although Prescott isn’t a traditional pro quarterback, the way he played in the wet conditions was impressive and earned him game MVP honors.”
Not a “traditional” pro quarterback? Four passing TD’s? Super Play? MVP? That’s non-traditional?
So here is my plea to Dak. Don’t throw an interception as the Dannon spokesperson. Don’t mess up. Don’t give the naysayers a chance to hurt you, or even take more shots at Newton. Be mature beyond your years like you are on the field. Be a leader off the field.
Represent your sport. Your team. Your race. Most of all represent your true self.