Following the Bears’ loss to the Commanders on ‘Thursday Night Football,’ former NFL quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick compared Justin Fields to Cam Newton. Newton is a former NFL MVP, three-time Pro Bowler, and arguably the greatest college quarterback ever, but ESPN’s Kimberley Martin took offense to Fitzpatrick’s comments.
Martin appears to think that since Fitzpatrick is a white man, and Newton and Fields are black men, Fitzpatrick’s comments were race-driven.
Here is the exact quote Martin took offense:
“Justin Fields needs to look in the mirror and say, ‘What am I?” Fitzpatrick said in the postgame show. “You are not Peyton Manning. You’re not Patrick Mahomes. You’re not a pocket passer. You are a Cam Newton-type. You are a guy who is an elite runner of the football.”
Calling a young quarterback an “elite runner of the football” and comparing them to a successful NFL QB is a bad thing, apparently.
Martin shared the quote from Fitzpatrick and followed it up with a photo of her with a look of confusion on her face:
OutKick reached out to Martin to ask if she wanted to elaborate on her thoughts about Fitzpatrick’s comment.
It’s worth noting Fields has the sixth-worst QBR (34.9) among starting quarterbacks in the NFL and the second-worst completion percentage (54.8%). Fitzpatrick’s comment also came after he witnessed Fields go 14-of-27 through the air for 190 passing yards in Chicago’s loss to Washington.
During the same postgame show, Richard Sherman made similar comments, explaining that Fields is not a pocket passer. Kimberley Martin didn’t tweet about Sherman’s comments.
It is not lost that Chicago’s offensive line is a laughingstock and Fields has just 18 NFL games under his belt at this point of his career.
But, two things can be true at once, believe it or not. Fields does possess Cam Newton-like abilities and he could turn into a pocket passer, but he certainly isn’t one right now.
Neither of those things has anything to do with the color of his skin.