Cam Newton sulked during his post-game press conference following the Super Bowl loss. He walked out after three minutes. It wasn’t a great look, and drew plenty of criticism.
Former bad boy Bill Romanowski chimed in, and throwing in the phrase “boy” at the end of the tweet. He later deleted the tweet after getting plenty of responses, and apologized for using the phrasing.
In internal discussions here, knowledge of use of the term “boy” as a potentially racist term with historical connotations was mixed. I was acutely aware of the history and was not surprised with the response. The use of the term, particularly in a declarative statement at the end, harkens back to Jim Crow and when white men would dismissively call grown African-American men “boy” as a sign of authority and disrespect. A Kentucky politician apologized after referring to Barack Obama as “boy” back in 2008.
Bill Romanowski was notable during his career for being on teams that won championships, and for pushing the line on behavior, including breaking Kerry Collins’ jaw, so in that respect it’s kind of funny that he is chiding a player for how they behave. Among the many things that were published about Romanowski, Sports Illustrated ran a piece in 2000 where a former teammate claimed that Romanowski had used the n-word, which Romanowksi vehemently denied at the time, calling it “an absolute lie.”