Cam Newton is certainly an incredible talent, but that doesn't stop people from hating on him.
The Carolina Panthers star quarterback may be the most highly judged player in the NFL. Many critics will say he is judged because of his in-game celebrations like his Superman poses and dabbing after touchdowns.
On Wednesday Newton was asked why he believes he is so harshly criticized, and according to Newton, it may not be simply because he likes to celebrate.
“I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing they can compare me to,” he told reporters during his weekly media session at
Panthers head coach Ron Riviera spoke about Newton and hopes that people do not judge his quarterback unfairly because of his race.
“You figure in this time and day and age it would be more about who he is as an athlete and a person more than anything else,” he said.
Riviera believes that the only thing that should scare people is Newton's gifts and abilities.
“That’s who he is,” Rivera said. “He’s a tremendously gifted athlete, a terrific quarterback, a smart football player. That’s who people should be concerned with more than anything else.”
For his part, Newton is grateful that he is able to express himself on the football field. He explained that the only way he knows how to play is by simply being himself.
“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,” he said. “Nobody changed me, nobody made me act this certain way, and I’m true to my roots. But yet people are going to say whatever they’re going to say.
“If I’m in this world living for that person, then I can’t look at myself and say I’m Cam Newton – or Cameron Newton to most people - because I’m not. I’m living for you, you know what I’m saying?”
His coach embraces his differences and loves his quarterback's attitude.
“People think you should be stoic when you play this game,” Rivera said. “I think you should be able to come out and have fun. This is a kid’s game. I know there’s a lot of money involved, but at the end of the day it’s about entertainment and having fun. If you’re not enjoying yourself, don’t play the game. It’s that simple.”
Images Courtesy of Keystone Press