Bill Cosby is to Russell Wilson, as Richard Pryor is to Cam Newton

by Sam Prince @phisammajamma

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” –Oscar Wilde


Personalities. Public perception is a fickle monster. One day you’re a hero and the next you’re a villain. What is behind the dichotomy that drives villainization (not a real world, but it should be) in America?


Cam Newton, quarterback of the nearly undefeated Carolina Panthers, is in the spotlight at this year’s National Football League (NFL) championship. His unapologetic behavior and brazen yet coordinated fandango, has taken social media by storm. (Link)


He reminds me of another unapologetic and earth shattering public figure, Richard Pryor (Click to enjoy some classic Richard Pryor). Pryor, like George Carlin, conquered comedy with an unrelenting and lascivious diatribe. They were disgusting and filthy, yet delightfully refreshing. Like a hooker on a street corner (channeling my inner Pryor), they allowed themselves to be on display to us all, an open book, free to judge, scorn, and love as we felt so inclined.


Many people compare Cam Newton to Russell Wilson, a black quarterback who is seemingly his opposite, yet also very talented.


Russell Wilson is exactly what you want from a linchpin. He says the right things to the media, echoing the sentiments of his coaching staff and executives. He’s never in the news for anything negative, and he’s even “waiting for marriage” to have sex with his girlfriend Ciara. He’s the All-American guy that people want to be, and want their daughters to marry. (Russell accepting the NFL’s “Good Guy Award)


Just like Bill Cosby used to be. Bill Cosby, the famous comedian and lead of the television program “The Cosby Show,” was a beacon of light and pillar of hope for the black community and America in general. It showed the middle-class black family in a new light, separating them from the images of gangster life and sexual promiscuity heralded by pop culture and rap groups like NWA.


AND like Russell Wilson, Bill Cosby was “as clean as a whistle.” That was until over 50 women accused the star of sexual assault. In a revealing racier than Tiger Woods sexual exploits, the accusations came out of nowhere. Whether true or not, these allegations have eternally damned Bill Cosby’s image.


How does this happen? How does Richard Pryor, an admitted degenerate, in the end have a better image than Bill Cosby? (Besides the fact that Richard Pryor hasn’t been accused by 50 women of sexual assault)


People like Bill Cosby, Tiger Woods and Barry Bonds hide themselves. They control their public narrative, creating an image as oppose to being an open book. That’s beneficial until you no longer have control of the narrative.


“It takes many good deeds to build a reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” –Ben Franklin


Steroid allegations, sexual assault allegations, and sexual promiscuity have toppled each of the aforementioned careers. When jaw-dropping stories like these are released, public figures lose control of their image. So why try to control it at all?


Keep that thought.

Now, in the same society that has sentenced Tiger Woods to shame, Charlie Sheen is exclaimed. Sheen, though a degenerate, is open about his issues. He ran amuck while on “Two and a Half Men,” effectively shutting down promotion, only to resurface more famous.


It’s very backwards, but I think I get it. It’s the same thing that attracts women to the “bad boys,” instead of the “nice guys.” We desire honesty from people. Nobody is a “good guy” all of the time and no public figure is perfect. It is unrealistic, and we are naturally skeptical of those that appear so. Their fall from grace is always much faster and much further.



  •  On Cari Champion’s podcast “Be Honest,” she and Marlon Wayans discuss Cam Newton and Bill Cosby. Very interesting perspective. (CLICK HERE)
  • Chris Rock-Talks about how people who have more in life have to say less, as oppose to people who have nothing that say more. This also applies to the arena of public perception. Those who want a clean and high public perception have to say less. When they hide their true opinions and feelings, they will have more. So, they sacrifice their opinions for their image. (CLICK HERE to see Chris Rock explain it)
  • Russell Wilson Bose commercial. When you have a clean image, you’re marketable. Cam has some commercials, but Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning will always have more.



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