I’d guess that Cam Newton is having the best year of this life – with the birth of his son, the Panthers phenomenal season, Super Bowl appearance and likely MVP award. But with all the good he’s done on the field and off, he still has haters. While speaking with the press before traveling to Santa Clara for next week’s game, Newton talked about his detractors and the challenges of being a black quarterback in the NFL.
“I’ve been seeing more Carolina Panther support than ever in my life — from flags to posts to everything. Truth be told, whether you win, lose or draw people are going to talk. I’m comfortable with the position that I’m in right now. I speak for the masses when I say we really could care less what you say because the true fans, they know what’s up. They’re going to be supporters whether what happens in the outcome. But people are going to judge and have their own opinion on certain things that I don’t have control over nor does anyone else.”
He continued when asked if he’s more of a “lightening rod” than other athletes.
“I think this is a trick question because if I answer it truthfully, it’s going to be, ‘Oh, he’s this, that.’ But I’m going to say it anyway. I don’t think people have seen what I am or what I’m trying to do, and I said that prior to me being in this situation. But when I said it then — ‘Oh, he’s immature. Oh, he’s young. He’s this, that and the third.’ It’s like I felt a certain type of way then, I feel the same type of way now. Nothing’s pretty much changed. They talk about maturity with me; they talk about skillset with this team. Nobody has changed. It’s been the same Ted Ginn that was drafted by the Miami Dolphins. It’s the same Jericho Cotchery, the same Philly Brown, the same Cam Newton. Nothing’s changed.
The only thing has changed is that we’re winning. I said it since Day One: I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to. It’s funny, I get inspired — It makes me go out there and practice even harder because I remember when I was working out for the Draft. I would see the Senior Bowl playing and I see these guys out there busting their tails trying to get drafted, try to have a job to provide for their family or themselves. And it’s like, here I am, I’m doing exactly what I want to do, how I want to do it and when I look in the mirror, it’s me. Nobody changed me. Nobody made me act a certain type of way and I’m true to my roots. It feels great, but yet, people are going to say whatever they want to say. And if I’m in this world living for that person — ‘Oh, this person is going to say this, this person is going to say that’ — then I can’t look at myself and say I’m Cam Newton, or I’m Cameron Newton to most people. Because I’m not because I’m living for you.”
You have to respect a man who is unapologetically himself. That’s more important than anything Cameron can do on the field.
H/T: The Big Lead