When Charlotte Observer editorial cartoonist Kevin Siers decided to make light of Panthers QB Cam Newtons’ posturing during a Week 3 drubbing at the hands of the New York Giants, ESPN’s resident overreacter Stephen A. Smith accused the paper of racism.  A day later, Siers’ editor, Taylor Batten insists there was no racial component to Siers’ mockery (“it was just a joke, no more, no less”), which would be a bigger relief if I hadn’t heard a pair of chat hosts suggest Newton was being outed.

Siers likes to poke fun at the absurd. And in his eyes, showboating after a 1-yard run when you’re getting your brains beaten in is the definition of absurd. Thus the “Hello Kitty” t-shirt for Cam’s Superman pose.

Sometimes, Siers thinks it’s important to send a deep, thought-provoking message on public issues of the day. Other times, like this one, he just has a little fun.

What’s more disturbing than a light-hearted cartoon is grown men so in awe of a football player that they ridicule any criticism of him, even when he touts his greatness on the way to a 36-7 loss.