Cam Newton's relationship with the public and the media is a tenuous one.
This week, Carolina Panthers' quarterback Cam Newton has received a lot of criticism, but not for his play on the field. His reaction to a female reporter's question has landed him in the dog house and even resulted in him losing a sponsorship.
Beat reporter Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer asked on Wednesday about wide receiver Devin Funchess and his physicality while route running; it was a solid and appropriate question.
Newton smirked while she finished the question and then responded, "It's funny to hear a female talk about routes like…it’s funny.” He then went on to address “Fun’s” progress and answered the question but the damage was done. Newton undoubtedly returned to his locker to find a bevy of texts, Tweets and angry messages from women and men alike. But more on that later.
Cam Newton is no stranger to headlines. From leaving Florida as Tim Tebow’s backup, to his controversial title run at Auburn, to leaving the post-Super Bowl press conference after only a minute or two, Cam has marched to the beat of his own drum from day one and we don’t really expect that to change. Between his unconventional quarterbacking style and his fashion sense, Cam evidently doesn’t mind going against the grain but, in so doing, he's earned himself a fair share of criticism.
It was only two seasons ago that Newton led the Panthers to Super Bowl 50 after starting the season undefeated. En route to earning NFL MVP honors, the Panthers started the season by winning 14 straight games. Newton also won Offensive Player of the Year for his 45 total touchdowns and 49 points scored in the NFC Championship game remains a record, as the Panthers beat the Arizona Cardinals 49-15 to reach the big dance.
Outside of the 2015 season, it’s been a mixture of "Dabbin’ Cam" and what I like to call "Sad Cam." Dabbin’ Cam is the flamboyant, outgoing, flashy hat-wearing stud that can’t help but attract attention. Unfortunately, this Cam makes few appearances unless the team is performing well. Sad Cam, on the other hand, is who we see many other times.
Dabbin’ Cam thought he made a funny joke at the podium on Wednesday but, as Newton said in his response, the joke was on him and we’re only seeing Sad Cam today. And with his recent remarks causing an uproar and Cam having to issue an apology, it begs the question: Has Cam Newton grown accustomed to the taste of his toes?
Because he seems to have his foot in his mouth an awful lot.
Ultimately, these moments are signs of Cam Newton’s growth as a person. He’s said repeatedly that he’s a believer in, and a product of, second chances, which seems accurate. Despite these moments, he's clearly shown he isn't afraid to learn from them (and accept when he's wrong), which is something that we can all appreciate.