Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was faced with a dilemma while boarding a 10-hour flight from Paris to the U.S., on Friday — his seat was too small for 6-foot-5 frame.
So the NFL star approached a white man on the plane who had a seat with extra leg room, and Newton offered the guy $1,500 to change seats. The man said no.
Now folks on Twitter are debating over whether the man’s refusal to give up his seat was racially motivated.
The bigger question seems to be how does Newton — who is reportedly making $103.8 million on a five-year deal — not have adequate seating to begin with?
Complex also wonders why Cam “decided to take a trip across the Atlantic Ocean dressed in jeans and a fedora?,” the outlet writes.
Watch the moment Cam is rejected via the Twitter video embed below.
Filmmaker and media personality Tariq Nasheed sparked debate about the clip on Twitter when he posted: “Cam Newton offered a white man $1500 to exchange seats with him and the man turned him down. And many people are confused as to why he didn’t take the money. He didn’t take the offer because this was an insult to his WHITENESS.”
But many disagree with this theory.
One Twitter user replied, “10 hour flight? Nope, I wouldn’t have taken $1500 to give up my seat. I would have bought that seat to be more comfortable and not wanting to give it up would have zero to do with the race of who was offering. Hell, the seat probably cost 4x that.”
Another added, “People don’t understand everybody isn’t pressed for money.”
A third user seemed to agree with Tariq, writing: “I hope cam newton understand the covert message that was sent to him cause had that being Tom Brady he would have been given that seat for free.”
Nasheed then proceeded to break down “the culture of anti-Black animosity when it comes to Black people interacting with other groups on flights/airlines in general.”
See some of the examples he shared below.
“Ppl felt a way in the comments of this tweet I made earlier. They said I was reaching..So lets do an analysis of the general anti-Black animosity that comes with the airline. People in the dominant society have always had an intrinsic anxiety about traveling with Black people,” he wrote.
Would you turn down $1,500 for leg room on a flight?