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Cam Newton Weighs In On Shannon Sharpe Criticizing Russell Wilson

Cam Newton responded to Shannon Sharpe’s criticism of Russell Wilson from last week, giving Wilson praise for his comments.

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Russell WIlson Steelers Quarterback
Russell Wilson speaks at a press conference about his contract signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, Friday, March 15, 2024 in Pittsburgh, PA. (Abigail Dean / Pittsburgh Steelers)

The saga of back-and-forth between Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Russell Wilson and NFL Hall of Famer and now analyst Shannon Sharpe caught the headlines this week. Sharpe took to his NightCap Podcast to hit at Wilson, who said that he “opened doors” for Black quarterback comments that he made in an recent exclusive interview with Essence.

But Sharpe did not kindly to that, as he believed Wilson ignored history.

“So what role did Doug Williams play? The first African-American quarterback to actually get to and win the Super Bowl and win MVP,” Sharpe said on the Nightcap Podcast. “So what about Shack Harris? What about Joe Gilliam? So what did Marlin Briscoe do? Jack Harry? Steve McNair? They opened no doors? Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick? It was you?”

Wilson did catch wind of those comments and stated on X, the app formerly known as Twitter, responding indirectly to Sharpe’s remarks on the situation.

“Let’s start building each other up!!! The Evolution of Black QBs in the @NFL has been one of the coolest experiences in my life to be a part of. Full context is always important! Grateful for those before me. Those with me. And those after. God is Good!” Wilson wrote on X, along with highlighting comments from his interview where he acknowledged current and past Black quarterbacks.

Wilson’s clarification earned a response from Sharpe, as he stated on the Nightcap Show with former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson that Wilson just recited what the author wrote.

Nevertheless, Sharpe says he wishes Wilson well, just not when he plays his former teams the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos.

“I wish him the best in Pittsburgh, except when they play the Ravens, and if they play the Broncos,” Sharpe said. “I want the Ravens to beat the brakes off of them twice. And if they play the Broncos, I want the Broncos to win.”

But former NFL MVP Cam Newton saw Sharpe’s comments and railed against them, saying that Wilson did help open doors in his own way to a new age of quarterbacks that are now around the NFL.

“I think he was saying, you know, Marlin Briscoe, Doug Williams, Randall Cunningham, Warren Moon, Steve McNair, these quarterbacks, somebody has to pass the torch on,” Newton said on the 4th and I Show. “He did his part. He kept his toes in the doorway and said, ‘Come on in’. I can say the same thing. But we’re not going to do that because the topic is about keeping that opportunity flowing for the next generation. I do think Russell Wilson did his part in doing that. That’s what I can say…we all have to do our part. The game is in a better place by having Russell Wilson in the NFL.”

Unless he loses the starting job to Justin Fields or an injury occurs, Wilson is set to play the Broncos at Mile High in 2024. With the intriguing headlines, it wouldn’t be surprising if the game is played in prime time.

Sharpe played 12 seasons for the Broncos in two separate stints (1990-1999 and 2002-2003). In between, he played two seasons with the Ravens and won a Super Bowl in 2000. He also won two rings with Denver in 1997 and 1998. Sharpe famously caught a crucial third down pass from John Elway to seal a Denver win over the Steelers in the 1997 AFC Championship Game at Three Rivers Stadium.