Cam Newton Doesn’t Think Racism Plays A Role In Critiques About Him

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton has been the target of a lot of critiques over his NFL career. The full force of those critiques came during the 2015 season where Cam was voted MVP. In a recent interview with GQ, Cam explained that he doesn’t think the backlash has anything to do with the fact that he’s a black QB. ????

“It’s not Racism,” Cam Newton tells GQ’s Zach Baron about the criticism he receives on and off the field. “Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion.” But, as Baron points out, can you name a contemporary athlete who has been subjected to more veiled and sometimes out-right racism than Cam Newton? “I don’t look at it like that,” says Cam. “I look at it like some people have certain beliefs, and I have my own belief, and we can agree to disagree on certain things. But this is what makes sports so amazing, that we can start a discussion around a table, in the newspaper, in the magazines, that will get people’s attention.” 

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“I don’t want this [interview] to be about race, because it’s not,” says Cam. “It’s not. Like we’re beyond that. As a nation.” Despite Newton’s attempt to steer clear of race while talking to Baron, back in January, right before the Super Bowl, Newton said that being an African-American quarter might scare people “because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to.”

Cam’s quotes have ruffled a few feathers. Especially as the interview comes on the heels of comments he made to ESPN’s The Undefeated last month.

As an athlete, you have so much responsibility to use your influence in a positive way, and to have your message be impactful. Those things are extremely important. To have LeBron, CP3, Carmelo and DWade to be the focal point and, in some essence, to start a movement and be in front … is unbelievable. I’m totally on board if they call me. It’s something that many of us [athletes] are already committed to, where the cameras can’t see — off the scenes … people may not really know the details.

Photo credit: Mario Testino exclusively for GQ