The NFL is falling apart. Ratings are plummeting, viewers are angry about the continuing national anthem protests, parents are hesitating to let their children play football over fears of CTE, and now, there’s a sexual harassment scandal swirling, too. Shannon Sharpe’s latest comments are sure to throw gasoline on an already-raging dumpster fire.
Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has announced that he intends to sell the team after being accused of sexual harassment in the workplace, along with the usage of racial slurs. Still, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton — who is black — defended Richardson, saying, “Everything that I heard were allegations and nothing was actually proven.”
“It’s another person’s words against another person’s words,” he continued. “Needless to say I still think extremely highly of Mr. Richardson. I don’t know none of the sources names that have come out, so I am reaching to find it. But I take sexual assault extremely seriously — and I don’t want to offend anyone — but having a lot of allegations thrown at a person, I don’t think that is really fair.”
Sharpe got extremely upset about this seemingly benign statement, and he showed it… even going so far as comparing Newton to a house slave on Fox Sports 1’s “Undisputed”.
“Did Mr. Richardson not hear about this? Why didn’t [Richardson] come to [Newton’s] defense [after Newton was accused of sexist behavior towards a female reporter]?” Sharpe asked. “Skip, this goes back way back when. Because Cam, he’s a first-round pick making a lot of money. Back in the day, the house and the field were treated differently. The blacks that worked in the house, when the white man, the master, got sick, we sick. We sick! He sick! But he couldn’t see that. Cam looking at it like… I get it. Harriet Tubman, someone said, ‘Ms. Tubman, you freed a lot of slaves,’ she said ‘I’d have freed a lot more had they known they were slaves.’
“Cam, speak for you, speak for your relationship with him. But to discredit these victims, because we know three because there were settlements,” he continued. “Now, moving forward, this is what I want you to think about, Cam. This story, a little bit of this story, started surfacing Friday. Sunday night, the man that’s owned this team for over 20 years is going to put it up at the end of the year over allegations. Won’t you think about that? Over allegations, a man is going to sell something that’s his pride.
“That’s why we know about Mr. Richardson. A lot of people that follow football know that he played for the Colts, that he’s old-school, that he took the money he made as a football player, invested it and became very wealthy,” Sharpe concluded. “Skip, over allegations that surfaced Friday, he put the team up less than 48 hours later. Over allegations! Most people, when you say allegations, I’m going to fight it.”
Do you think Sharpe’s comments are offensive?